"Critics wonder: How can a new 'public option' bring meaningful competition to the health-insurance marketplace and drive down costs?
They miss the point. The great work done so far has tended to squash competition, and we would continue this work—by restricting the ability of insurance companies to design and market their policies; by regulating what coverage they can offer; by using tax distortions to keep consumers in the dark about what their health care really costs, so they will continue to treat it as a 'free lunch' when it actually gobbles up more and more of their disposable incomes.
People, this is why insurance rates keep going up and up, and why a competitive marketplace, in which consumers reward those who provide high-quality care at low cost, hardly exists. And I say again, with all humility, this is a great bipartisan achievement.
So the purpose of our public option is not to change any of this, but merely to scoop up the growing number of Americans who won't be able to get private coverage because we've made private coverage so expensive and uneconomic."
"But let's put aside our differences and recognize how much we have already accomplished together. I say to Republicans and Democrats alike, if we can just keep working together to inflate the burden of public and private health-care spending as we have the past 30 years, we will push the system to the breaking point. Yes, we can. Yes, we can. (Democrats chant, 'Yes we can.' Nancy Pelosi levitates above the audience, flies around the chamber three times and bursts into flame. . . .)"