How public is your option?

Not very, in all probability.

According to current reports, only those whose coverage exceeds 12.5 percent of their income, only the smallest businesses, or those who aren’t covered by Medicare or VA programs… a very few onlies will have access to the public option. Still, the public option is less important than the reform bill itself. We may have reached the point at which the perfect is indeed the enemy of the good.

Early on in this process my friend Catherine Dodd, whose extensive health policy credentials include stints on Nancy Pelosi’s staff and as a Regional Director for the Department of Health and Human Services, advised an audience inundated with numbers and percentages and data to remember just one figure: “Nineteen point seven,” she said. It has taken an average of 19.7 years after one health reform measure failed to raise the issue again.

Many of us do not have another 19.7 years to wait for the next battle.


  1. I think the liberals are much like the Bush crowd on this one, in that they think because they feel this is the best option for the country it must be true. The reform bill is much too important to fail waiting for a “perfect” bill. The very liberal Dem’s always seem to think if they don’t get it perfect why waste the time doing anything- just wrong!

  2. ” We may have reached the point at which the perfect is indeed the enemy of the good.”

    God, I hate this phrase. Sadly, it is this very mindset that always keeps the Dems from any serious attempt to bring about the “perfect.” In fact, I think this is the real difference between liberals and progressives. Liberals think the perfect is the enemy of the good – progressives think the good is the enemy of the perfect. I’ll stick with the progressives.

  3. Fran, the numbers I like to remember are 6-12-24 — 5 years ago the average cost for healthcare for a family of 4 was 6K/year, today it is 12/year, and, if we don’t get reform now, the average in 5 years will be 24k/year!!

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