## Politics

Some of the usual suspects are out this morning with criticism of Tom Carper’s compromise proposal to insert a robust public option into the Democrats’ health care bill, but allow states to opt out of it by legislative or popular action. I’m not going to call these people out by name because I consider some of them friends and they’re doing good, important, productive work. But this compromise is leaps and bounds better than most of the others that have been floated, such as Chuck Schumer’s proposal to have a public insurance option that would be forced to negotiate at private market rates. Here’s why:

1) If the public option is indeed popular — and the preponderance of public polling suggests that it is — we should expect the solid majority of states to elect to retain it. Perhaps some Republican governors or legislatures would seek to override the popular will in their states — but they would do so at their own peril (and at Democrats’ gain).

2) Behavioral economics further suggests that default preferences are extremely powerful. Making the public option the default would probably lead to much greater adaptation than requiring states to “opt in”.

All Politics

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