Yesterday, the Plum Line released Obama administration talking points which state that the public option is a "small" part of healthcare reform. Also, the Senate Finance Committee has rejected two different public plan proposals. But Senator Harry Reid says that the Senate will eventually pass a public plan option. According to Reid: "[T]he public option is so vitally important to create a level playing field and prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of us. . . ."
The Finance Committee has accepted an amendment that would allocate funds to states for them to create public plans. Presumably the amendment would also establish guidelines for the use of this money. Otherwise, this alternative could prove even costlier than having a national public plan. This option would certainly get rid of any constitutional questions regarding mandated care. Congress could give states money for healthcare reform on the condition that they require coverage. This sounds like a permissible use of the Spending Power and a lawful use of the states' police power.