Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)--a staunch public option supporter, told reporters she'd be happy with a health care bill without a public option, so long as it accomplishes the public option's imperatives of lowering costs and providing competition.
Well, Sen. Stabenow, the goal of the public option was not just to lower costs and provide competition. It was also meant to keep the insurance companies honest, ensure everyone had access to at least one decent plan designed for the public good, and to prevent this reform bill from becoming a massive corporate boondoggle that funnels billions of taxpayer dollars into private insurance coffers.
The bill will give hundreds of billions in federal dollars to the private insurance companies and force millions of Americans to hand over hundreds of billions more. That money will go to the same corporations that have done everything possible to kill meaningful reform. They will use this government-provided bailout to eventually lobby to remove what little regulation this bill will put in place, and to stop future reform efforts.
I wonder if what the people of Michigan really want is for Stabenow to force hard-working Americans to buy extremely expensive, poorly regulated, junk insurance. Forcing people to give their money to the same companies that ruined meaningful reform will only make them larger, rich, more powerful, and more profitable.