My first instinct regarding the test option was – uh oh, the proverbial Trojan Horse. Once the program is up and running, the bureaucratic machine will churn; a new entitlement program will be created; deficits will increase; more people will be employed by the state; more people will depend on the state; people will become use to government in their lives; and the program will slowly role into new states over time. Big trouble.
But the stickler about insurance is that states cannot compete with each other. Since the option is voluntary, this would insulate free states. Surely most free states will opt-out, while liberal states will opt-in. If insurance companies in “free states” are not forced to compete with the public option in subsidized states, could they effectively thwart the growth of single payer and expose the fraud of government solutions. They could empower the economies in free states by generating revenue, provide the superior products and services, siphon talent from liberal states and let the statists wallow in their own health care quagmire as employers in those states dump their employees into state programs.
It’s just a thought. My gut tells me the voluntary option is where the Democrats are heading because it provides cover for Blue Dogs. Blue Dogs in places like Arkansas and Tennessee can vote for a “public option” and then support opting-out of the program in their home states. They’d almost be stealing a page out of the conservative’s federalist handbook. A sort of ‘let the states decide” mantra that will placate radicals in the hard blue states like CA, NY, and MA and insurance companies and conservative Democrats in moderate states at the same time. Of course, the long term intentions of the radicals will be to let those programs grow and metastasize, while they work to impede insurance companies and churn out another generation of indoctrinated socialist youth.
But after thinking about this afternoon, I wonder if this isn’t a bad place to stop. The Democrats will get something. They have the numbers and there is nothing all the protesting can do about that. The extent of what they get is at issue, a moderate piece meal plan or a radical plan. A throw down between free states with free market solutions versus states with a government solutions may be educational, assuming that the opt-out is vigorous and strong.
Just some musings.