Today's Question: Would you support a competitive, government-run insurance option?

Friday, October 23, 2009 | 2:49 p.m. CDT; updated 4:11 p.m. CDT, Saturday, October 24, 2009

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?

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Dan Duckworth November 13, 2009 | 3:17 p.m.

Not only No but...

1. The $400 billion cut in Medicare

2. The inevitable scarcity that will result from the addition of 35 million new patients with no new doctors or nurses

3. The fine on the uninsured of 2.5 percent of their income if they don't buy insurance

4. The high cost of these mandatory insurance policies ($15,000 per family)

5. The low level of subsidy available for the uninsured (only after they pay 8-12 percent of their incomes)

6. The likelihood of a $1,700 increase in the average family's premiums

7. The possibility of up to five years in prison for failing to buy insurance or pay the fine

8. The taxation of medical devices like pacemakers, wheelchairs, prosthetic limbs, hearing aids, etc.

9. The tax on sick people (increasing the threshold for deducting medical expenses from 7.5 percent to 10 percent of income

10. The additional fiscal burden on the states of the increase in Medicaid eligibility

11. The 40 percent tax on health insurance premiums that will affect households earning more than $75,000 by the fifth year of the plan.

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