Argument: Co-ops are non-profits and avoid government control
Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat who chairs the Senate Budget Committee, said in a June 2009 interview with Ezra Klein: "for those against a public option because they fear government control, the co-op structure has some appeal because its not government control. It's membership control, and membership ownership."
Chuch Schumer said in June of 2009 to CNS News: "We do have co-ops in lots of things, [it] is run for the customers and we like that because we think the public would run things for the customers too, [and] it wouldn’t be government."
"Cooperatives Being Pushed as an Alternative to a Government Plan". Washington Post. August 18, 2009: "As prospects fade for a public, or government-run, option as part of health-care reform, key senators are considering another model to create competition for private insurers: member-owned, nonprofit health cooperatives. [...] Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chief advocate for including cooperatives in reform legislation, has cited examples as disparate as the Land O'Lakes dairy concern, rural electricity cooperatives and Ace Hardware. [...] But so far, cooperatives have been defined in the health-care debate primarily in terms of what they are not: They would not be run by the government. [...] That may make the cooperatives more politically palatable to conservatives, as well as to some Democrats such as Conrad, who fear that the public option may be a bridge too far."