Public Option

health care demo daylight
Providence City Hall

At least 50 Rhode Islanders came out on a chilly evening Thursday, October 29 to show support for a strong public option for health insurance.

Rallying on the steps of City Hall we sang, waved signs and got lots of support from passers-by. The rally ended with a march to Blue Cross, and then back down Weybosset St. past Johnson and Wales and back to Kennedy Plaza.

There were costumes– a giant screw, a red-tape mummy, and drums. I spotted nurses and doctors in the crowd, as well as a woman who had lost her hair to chemotherapy. This affects us all. Anyone can find themselves cut off from access to care if we don’t reform the system now.

The scariest thing looming over this Halloween is the prospect of a weak bill masking as reform. The insurance companies are ready to cash in if they have no competition. So don’t expect your congressmen to receive your psychic projections. Call or email today.

Contacts for Senators Reed and Whitehouse here.

Congressman Kennedy here.

Congressman Langevin here.

4 thoughts on “Public Option

  1. There are plenty of ways to shake up health insurance without creating an expensive new agency. Look at auto insurance, a highly competitive market with no “public option.”

  2. Yeah, but a lot of the health insurance we already have is latched onto programs like Medicare. Why do we need so many middlemen?
    Private health insurance will be around for a long time and definitely needs shaking up.
    Thanks for your post, it’s good to have a civil discussion.

  3. Au contraire, Jeremiah.

    There is a “public option” for auto insurance.

    It’s called the “risk pool,” and it’s where people who otherwise can’t get insurance can get insurance in states where insurance is mandatory.

    And there’s mandatory auto insurance.

    There is no parallel in the health-care market.

    So the analogy really doesn’t work beyond the sound-bite.

    Not trying to be snarky, but too often the quick-hit rebuttal, which seems, at first glance, to be so devastating, does not hold up after further consideration.

    This is not a simple situtation. As a result, simple solutions generally don’t work.

  4. klaus:

    Excellent reply. You hit the proverbial nail on the head. Allow me to add: The health insurance cartel has gone virtually unregulated for decades, and the desperation of the anti-reform hit squads (and their marionetting of Joe Lieberman) is indicative only of the HC companies’ selfish motive to protect their monopolistic strangle-hold on medical care — two companies control roughly 80% of the health care market (as mentioned on NPR).

    I think the eventual bill will be “watered down,” in that states will be able to opt out of the public option, but it may just be the first chink in the health care monopolies’ wall that allows more reform down the line.

    PS Drop me an off-blog line so we can chat about OT stuff:

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