The term "public option" is a clever piece of propaganda. It underwrites equally slippery bits of sophistry. Wouldn't you like to have the opportunity to choose between private and public insurance? Don't you like having choices?
A better question would be "Wouldn't you like to be forced to pay for the insurance policies of millions of other people? Don't you like being forced to pay for things that you don't get?" The "option" of some is the compulsion of others. They are two sides of the same thing.
Look, either this government insurance company will "pay its own way" (with money collected from customers) or it will not. If it does, it is pointless. It is just another commercial enterprise (though a non-profit one). If it is a good idea, why hasn't the market come up with it all ready.
If it does not, you are forced to pay for it. That is not an option.
Yet everyone calls it the public "option." On that point, its proponents have won the propaganda war. Yet there is one aspect of this that pleases me. It shows that the proponents of coercion and compulsion find it helps their cause if they sound like libertarians. Isn't that the sincerest form of flattery?
Don't you like having choices?