"The White House is correct when it says that millions of Americans can’t afford private health insurance. But what it doesn’t mention is that government regulations reduce access to affordable private insurance, strangle competition, and make insurance more expensive. State insurance regulators frequently require insurers to offer certain services—fertility drugs, alcohol-abuse treatment, and chiropractor services, for example—that consumers might not choose if they had a say in the matter. The Council for Affordable Health Insurance notes that these mandates may push up the cost of basic health insurance by 20 to 50 percent, depending on the state."
The "public option" bleaters somehow never manage to get around to discussing this point.
I disagree with Howard's point about affordability. Private health insurance IS affordable, particulary under the HSA/Major Medical concept, but most of the complainers have been sold on the idea that they deserve low co-pays for routine visits with primary care providers, rather than assuming the full responsibilites for such payments until a deductible is met.