David Harsanyi

It's about time we conceded that proponents of the "public option" in health care reform have offered up a tremendously constructive idea.

In his pitch to the masses on health care, President Barack Obama said that a public option would "give people a broader range of choices and inject competition into the health care market ... and keep the insurance companies honest."

So let's agree, then, that the more we inject competition into a marketplace the more consumers benefit from lower prices and innovation. Consequently, there should be no problem infusing this open-minded brand of policymaking into an array of issues. You know, to keep everyone honest.

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All one needs to do is employ the president's logic and it becomes patently obvious that the time is right for a "private option" in Social Security. This would free citizens to extract themselves from a failing program and pay into a private one that offers more than a 1 percent return (like a savings account or a tooth fairy, for instance). Seeing as injecting competition into markets is healthy and desirable and all that good stuff ... it should be painless.

How about those payroll taxes most of us pay to fund Medicare? Isn't it time that Washington instituted an opt-out clause so that future generations are able to select private options if they wish? This would bring down costs and raise accountability because, as the president so astutely points out, enhanced competition keeps shysters in line.

And what about those vulnerable children? If health care is "right," then education is sacred moral imperative. How could an enlightened society allow a "public" education monopoly to run our precious schools into the ground? Let's get moving on a private option by means of vouchers so parents -- or "victims," in this case -- can blunt the influence of "villainous" super-funded special interest groups, such as the National Education Association.

Sad to say, the present system simply doesn't meet Obama's free market criterion of offering a "broader range of choices." And as we all know, the status quo is unacceptable -- unless you hate children.

It's a question of morality, actually. Unions not only abuse the working stiff by underpaying high-performing employees and shielding low-performing employees but also "target" poor and inner-city kids by trapping them in failing schools and denying them the bright future that every American deserves.


David Harsanyi

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist and the author of "The People Have Spoken (and They Are Wrong): The Case Against Democracy." Follow him on Twitter @davidharsanyi.