Can’t Compete with Grandma’s Killer ?

Most of the attacks against a public option for health insurance fall into one of two categories:

  • Public insurance option’s low quality of care — The quality of healthcare provided by a public insurance option would be substandard, with long wait times and “evil” “death panels.”
  • Private insurers’ inability to compete — Private insurance companies would not be able to compete with a public insurance option, forcing private insurers out of business.

Does anyone else see a major conflict in logic here? 

On the one hand, conservative fear mongers would have us believe that public health insurance is downright “evil,”  with “death panels” deciding the fate of Sarah Palin’s special needs child and “pulling the plug on grandma.”

On the other hand, conservatives also argue that we should be concerned because private insurers will not be able to compete with a public option — that’s right, the same evil public option that pulled the plug on grandma.

Huh? Obviously, the two points of criticism are mutually exclusive.  One cannot claim that the public option will have “death panels” killing grandma, but at the same time argue that the public option will drive private insurers out of business.

Let’s think about this for a second.

Imagine its the year 2010, and the public option is a reality.  Surely, once the right wing predictions of public option “death panel” atrocities are confirmed, everyone enrolled in the public insurance option will cancel their Stalinist public health insurance plan and seek sanctuary in a private insurance plan. 

As a consequence, enrollment in superior death-panel-free private plans would flourish, while the evil public option would wither away and die.

So in fact, Republicans and the insurance companies have nothing to worry about… well, that is unless all the outrageous “death panel” type attacks against the public option amount to slander, and the public insurance option actually provides a better product at a lower price.

Well, as we all can see, Republicans and the insurance companies are in fact very worried about the public option.  I wonder why?