The health insurance industry has significant influence in the halls of Congress. But that pales in comparison to the influence buying which could go on at the state level if statet governments are given the power to opt out of any public option.
The history of Indiana is littered with buiness interests controlling legislation. Just look at the recent battle over Sunday liquor sales. It has nothing to do with public interests and everything to do with the liquor retail lobby fighting against the grocery / big box retail lobby, specifically Walmart., Kroger, Marsh and their ilk.
It's the same interest groups that have fought to keep local Indiana wineries from being able to sell by mail to customers. No one cares about the public interest. It's all about who puts the most money into the fight -- and the liquor lobby and grocery lobby have a lot more money to spread around than the association for local wineries.
And does anyone forget Chip Edwards and Phillip Gutman?
A state option is simply a license for the health insurance lobby to turn its attention, and its tens of millions of dollars, to state governments. Far from roping in health insurance excesses, we would risk giving those same companies even more power and influence.
So Sen. Reid (and Sen. Bayh if you're listening), just say no to a state option.