I’m sure you all have seen busy intersections with multiple gas stations, sometimes one on each corner. In situations like this, have you ever noticed how the gas prices are always the same at each station? They’re all competing for business, right? They must set their prices the same. I mean, gas is gas. If one station sold better gas, then they might be able to charge more. But let’s not kid ourselves, gas is all the same. Therefore, should one station be just a penny higher, folks just might go out of your way to save a few cents, especially in these economic times. That, my friends, is capitalism. The gas stations are competing for your business and if one station is higher than the other, the higher priced station is going to find that they’re not selling as much gas as the guy across the street.
I offer this example because I feel that with a strong public health care option, like neighboring gas stations, the private insurers would have to price themselves competitively and offer identical care. A strong public option would insure everybody, allow for care at anywhere health care is administered, with any physician, and would allow for almost every procedure your physician recommends. The converse of this would be a weak public option, that offers substandard care and competes poorly with the private insurers. The private system wouldn’t have to change a thing because nobody would want it.
If we want a good quality of life, and good quality health care, then we need a strong public option. Otherwise, we’ll be here talking about the same exact thing in a few short years.