ALTER: Well, there has to be some kind of cooperative, maybe what they call a souped-up cooperative, one that can actually withstand pressure from insurance companies which in the past have taken something like BlueCross, which is originally nonprofit and turned it into just another insurance company. So, the problem with the co-op idea is that it-they have been putty in the hands of the insurance company.
But there still is room for compromise there. They could design a new kind of co-op that could provide some real competition.
ALTER: It could be essentially a public-private option that satisfies enough people to get something through.
So, I don't think liberals should go, you know, public option or bust. There are other alternatives and you have to remember that there are many, many important things in this bill that have become almost non-controversial that two years ago, if you'd been told they're going to-they're going to end discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions, they're going to insure another 30 million Americans, we say, "Great, where do we sign up?"
And now, some progressives are-maybe a little bit too wed to the public option. Even though, my favorite, too, but we shouldn't go down with the ship, with the public option.