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Opt-out

I didn't think there'd be a Public Option compromise that I'd like, but Senator Carper from Delaware found one: a national Public Option that individual state legislatures can vote to opt out of. We know that most states won't opt out, and the ones that do for the most part will be those states that are relatively sparsely populated anyway (exception: Texas), so it won't affect the Option's bargaining power. And it gives conservative Dems cover to vote for it. So all of the sane people get their public option, and the crazies can shoot themselves in the foot if they want to.

The downside is expressed in this question to Ezra Klein:

Just out of pure curiosity, have you ever lived in a "red state" before?

I asked because you posted about your support for the new idea that each state can opt-out of letting its residents get a government-run insurance.

As somebody who could well still be a slave if "state's rights" were giv[en] too much weight, I hesitate. But you do get that a lot of uninsured people live in red states? They're low-income, they're rural, they're non-White, they're everything national Liberals claim to be wanting to help. Yet I was a bit shocked at how much you seemed to like this idea. I didn't like when Sarah Palin divided up the U.S.A. into good and bad parts, and I don't like it when anybody else does either.

The response to that is basically that this is the start of an incremental approach and once the Public Option is proven successful in the states that don't opt-out, there will be a lot of pressure on the hold-out state legislatures to opt back in. If we're facing a choice between no Public Option or one that states can opt out of, I think the choice is clear. But i do understand the feeling of getting left behind and abandoning those who need help the most. And does this establish a weird precedent that leads to states soon being able to opt out of other Federal laws? Should we continue to fight for a Public Option that's guaranteed at the Federal level to be available to all, or should we accept this compromise?

By fnord12 | October 8, 2009, 4:33 PM | Liberal Outrage