Many of the writers and experts who are softening on the importance of the public option have totally failed to recognize one very important -- mandatory -- aspect of the concept of a government insurance program. It's more than just about competition and controlling costs.
It gives us an option whereby we wouldn't have to finance these corrupt private insurance mobsters, whether by government mandate or otherwise.
And if there is a government mandate in the final bill, but no public option, I'm not sure that I could accept this from a purely moralistic point of view. Yes, maybe the reform bill will make private insurance easily affordable and accessible. But a federal mandate to pay the private insurers would be criminal -- begging reactions ranging from leaving the country to just plain breaking the law.