Last July, Lincoln published an essay on the op-ed page of the largest daily paper in Arkansas that stated clearly why a public option should be part of a broader reform plan: "Individuals should be able to choose from a range of quality health insurance plans. Options should include private plans as well as a quality, affordable public plan or non-profit plan that can accomplish the same goals as those of a public plan."
"For some in my caucus, when they talk about a public option, they're talking about another entitlement program, and we can't afford that right now as a nation. ... I would not support a solely government-funded public option. We can't afford that," she has said.
Second, the public option proposed in either the Senate or House versions of the bill would not be funded solely by the government, because both bills require the plan to be supported fully through premiums paid by the insured.
Third, the proposed bill is not only deficit-neutral but is estimated to reduce the federal deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next two decades.
Joe Conason writes for the New York Observer.