Three weeks after striking down a government-run health care option, the Senate Finance Committee has revived the idea like a zombie from the crypt. “This issue is alive, and we’re looking at it,” said Sen. Max Baucus. Three variations of the public option are under consideration and though none of them are the liberal Democrat ideal, they all fall closer than the proposed nonprofit cooperatives. One version would establish a national plan only if the rest of the Democrats’ health overhaul doesn’t sufficiently expand coverage. Another would create a government option but allow states to opt out. The last would allow the states to opt in to a government option.
So why is the public option back? A few reasons, according to the Wall Street Journal. First there’s the CBO report that the cooperatives wouldn’t “establish a significant market presence.” Then there’s the Democrats’ newfound willingness to break with the insurance industry, which began attacking the Finance Committee bill even though the the idea of cooperatives was inserted to please them. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, crazy people have stopped going crazy about the public option.