Ok cheesy ode to Stone Cold Steve Austin out of the way, Josh Marshall of the aforementioned TPM fame, has a post up that really boils it all the way down when it comes to the question of whether health care reforme gets passed this year with a public option in tact...
And that's this: the opposition to a so-called 'public option' comes almost entirely from insurance companies who have developed monopolies or near monopolies in particular geographic areas. And they don't want competition.
Note, I'm not saying more competition. I'm saying any competition at all. As Zack Roth explains in this new piece 94% of the health care insurance market is now under monopoly or near-monopoly conditions -- the official term of art is 'highly concentrated'. In other words, there's no mystery why insurance costs keep going up even as the suck quotient rises precipitously. Because in most areas there's little or no actual competition.
It's something everyone can understand that if you have only one widget maker, widgets will get really expensive, and probably decline in quality. And the widget makers will pour lots of money into Congress or whatever the law-making power is, to keep their monopoly in place because their monopoly ensures locked in profits. It's market theory 101 (or perhaps, rent-seeking 102, depending on your perspective.)
Put even shorter, if there is no public option in the health care reform bill then the monopolistic insurance companies will have won, if it does have a public option then everybody else in the country wins.
Its really that simple.