Ezra Klein has a post on the “fault line” of the upcoming health care debate: a public option. Generally, liberals prefer overhaul offer such an option, while conservatives don’t. Why (from Congressional Quarterly):
Republicans also debated whether one aspect of Obama’s health care proposal, giving people the option of buying a public health care plan, would weaken the private insurance market.
Mark Hayes, a Republican health policy adviser to the Senate Finance Committee, said Republicans have concerns because the government plan might have access to price controls and other tools not available to private insurers. This could lead to lower premiums in the government plan, which would cause most consumers to migrate out of the private market, he said.
You’d think most people, given the option, would prefer a plan with lower premiums. But apparently, Republicans think it’s more important that we choose among a series of more expensive plans for sake of preserving “market” solutions. The cognitive dissonance is staggering.