Takeaway #4 from Congressman Langevin’s Town Hall: There May Be Some People Thinking that the “Public Option” is Akin to Free Healtcare

At least twice during Congressman James Langevin’s town hall meeting last evening, the idea was brought up that a “public option”, i.e. a government created and run insurance company, needs to be included in any health reform proposal, as a safety valve for people who lose their jobs (in an employer-based system) and still need coverage.
But does this concept make sense? Unless the “public option” is engaged in seriously predatory pricing, or it is eligible for much bigger subsidies than the private plans on an “exchange” are eligible for, how does a “public option” become any more affordable than a private plan, for someone who has lost their job?
Could it be that some of the support for a “public option” is coming from people who believe it is going to be an entirely-taxpayer funded program?

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