Argument: Non-profit co-ops are great, but no substitute for public insurance
Matthew Iglesias. "Health Care Co-ops". Think Progress. July 10, 2009: "I’ll say that I think [co-ops are] a pretty good idea, but it stands on its own merits completely apart from the merits of a public plan. In other words, there’s no reason we shouldn’t have co-ops and private plans and a real public plan. Medicine has always been a mix of state, non-profit, and for-profit actors and I think it’s worth broadening the mix of insurance options available to ordinary people. [...] That said, as an alternative to a public plan this simply doesn’t meet what I see as the main objective of a public plan [...to quickly scale to provide affordable insurance to 47 millions uninsured Americans]."
"Rethinking co-ops". Greenbay Press Gazette. September 3, 2009 "While co-ops can provide an important alternative, they are not a replacement for the public option, which tests the true competitiveness of Big Insurance. If the private insurance companies believe so unflinchingly in the marketplace, then they should not fear competing against the public options. Let us test their mettle."
But several Democratic lawmakers oppose a co-op program as an alternative and say a government-run insurance option is a vital element of shaking up America's health care system.
Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean: "You can't really do health reform without it."