It’s not just conservatives and libertarians who don’t like the so-called public option for health insurance. Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post trusts government a lot more than do most Spectator readers, but even she has her doubts:
In other words, to work, the public plan has to be able to set prices and, at least at the outset, require providers to participate if they want to remain eligible to accept Medicare patients. Does anyone think that is what’s likely to emerge from Congress? If not, is this really where all the energy of those who want to ensure effective reform should be spent?
She’s exactly right–the government would have to set prices and force doctors and hospitals to participate. Some “option.” Such a system wouldn’t work as advertised, but would fulfill the real objective of many of making the “public option” the only option. Yet another reason for Democrats as well as Republicans to rally against government-run health care.