COLUMBIA — On Tuesday, a group of residents gathered at Sen. Claire McCaskill's Columbia office demanding the inclusion of one of the most heavily debated aspects of health care legislation — the "public option."
Originally meant as a government-run option for people who couldn't afford private insurance, this idea has been called by some a "government takeover" of the health care system and is now all but dead.
This is in part because the term "public option" is a poor framing device and was never explained to the public, Ron Rosenbaum said in a Slate magazine article.
Rosenbaum might be on to something. When the phrase "public option" is not used directly, a majority of people polled support this government plan.
A recent Washington Post/ABC News poll showed that 57 percent would support a government-run health option. Here's the language used in that poll: "Would you support or oppose having the government create a new health insurance plan to compete with private health insurance plans?"
So despite a majority supporting this plan put in simple terms, congressional support is waning because of this framing device.
What are your thoughts on the public option? Would you support a competitive, government-run insurance option?