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Why do we need a public option? 

Avila Beach

I guess I can’t say I’m surprised by the holiday “gift” I found in my mailbox the other day. It was notification from my health insurance carrier that my monthly premiums are going up 18 percent: yep, 18 percent!  It’s so nice to know that at least one already wealthy sector is taking steps to ensure even greater profitability in an economy that sees so many other sectors—and individuals—struggling just to survive. I can’t help but feel dismay and anger over the debate about a public option versus the free market. 

If free market means quasi-monopolies are free to gouge consumers who have limited choices, then I imagine the health care reform obstructionists must feel pretty good about how things look in Washington. I urge everyone to take a step back and do the math. How many years of 18-percent increases does it take to see a doubling of costs? And who knows what is next? Yes, I am indeed feeling “blue” and more than a little “cross” at my health insurance carrier.

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