Healthcare reform can’t happen without the option of a public plan. Whatever comes out of the wheeling and dealing going on in the halls of power in Washington, if there is no public option, then it’s just a shadow of real reform.
Former Governor of Vermont, former Chair of the DNC, and physician Howard Dean wants to offer the choice to the American people: private insurance if you’re happy with the plan you have now, or a public option. If nothing else, a public option will force the private insurers to clean up their act if they want to stay competetive.
Here’s Governor Dean discussing the public option on Keith Olbermann (via Firedoglake):
…We need something really different, like the President has suggested. But we don’t need to change any faster than the American people are comfortable changing. That’s why the President’s plan says if you like what you have you can keep it, the government will help you make health insurance more affordable, but you will have an option of a public plan. And I can’t understand for the…I understand why the insurance companies are against this, ’cause they would have to clean up their act. But I don’t understand why the Republicans…I thought the Republicans were interested in giving more choices to the American people, but apparently they’re not. And that is wrong, and if we have to pass this thing with 51 votes we should do it. Look, everybody thinks bipartisanship is a wonderful thing—and I do, too—but bipartisanship comes second to doing the right thing. And bipartisanship is not worth it if we have a crummy bill. I don’t want to see a crummy bill, and my definition of a crummy bill is a bill that does not allow the American people to make the choice between a public health insurance option and the private plans they have now.