I’ve tried to make this point a few times in the debate over a government-run private option, but this video from the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest gets it across in an entertaining and clear manner. Public-option advocates insist that they only want to provide competition to insurers by providing a government-run insurance plan, but that means that the regulator will also be competing in the marketplace. I’ve used the analogy of having Wal-Mart take the place of the FTC; no matter how ethical Wal-Mart may or may not be, they will make decisions in regulation that benefit themselves and burden their competition. But the basketball analogy works better visually:
Incidentally, anyone doubting the end result of having a government “option” should recall what the Obama administration and Democrats want to do with student loans. That went from a government-encouraged private market, to a market with a government “option” (direct loans), to a single-payer loan system if the Senate passes the House bill as expected. And that is exactly what will happen with health care, too, once the refs start playing the game themselves.