Much has been made in this community about the so called "Opt-out" public option compromise. The general consensus is that it isn't as good as a plain old, normal public option, but it's much better than Olympia Snow's trigger. What has surprised me is how little discussion there has been on the actual mechanism for opting out, especially considering how much momentum the opt-out plan has gained in recent days.
Here's my plan for how to opt out.
- Both houses of the state legislature must pass a resolution saying the state wishes to opt out. If possible, there should be a requirement that it passes with a two thirds majority - or, at the very least, whatever majority is needed to survive a filibuster in the rules of that particular state legislature.
- The Governor of the state must sign the resolution.
- Next November, the public gets a chance to vote on the resolution. If it is not passed by a majority of the voters, it needs to be passed again by next year's state legislature and Governor and voted on again.
- After the "opt out" passes all three of these tests, it is put into effect for five years. After the five years have passed, it needs to go through steps 1-3 again. If it doesn't, the state automatically opts back in.
By this system, it would be all but impossible for any state to successfully opt-out - and even if it did, it wouldn't be able to sustain itself for very long. Feel free to add more steps in the comments. My goal is to start building momentum for an opt out process that will lead to very few, if any, states actually opting out.
Because Democrats in Oregon don't deserve health care more than Democrats in Texas.
Next - here's the other thing that we as progressives need to start addressing - when will the public option actually kick in? This 2013 stuff is absolutely terrible. After Obama is re-elected? No way. Ideally, it would kick in summer of 2010 - soon, and right before the mid-term elections. But a public option that kicks in after 2012 is a bad idea. It's bad politics, and it means hundreds of thousands of more dead people killed by lack of insurance. We need a fast acting public option!