Argument: Co-ops are a great alternative to the public option

Issue Report: Health insurance cooperatives


President Barack Obama said in Colorado in mid August, 2009: “The public option, whether we have it or we don’t have it, is not the entirety of health care reform.” Later that same day, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, told CNN that the government run health insurance was “not the essential element” of health care reform. “There will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius added. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.” [But, these statements made clear that a public option is not essential, and that a co-op could achieve similar goals of adding competition to the marketplace for health insurance.[1]