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In the seemingly endless healthcare reform debate, it seems like every day brings yet another proposal for a compromise on a public option.  Today brings word of one that might actually be a workable idea: a national plan, created by Congress and standardized for the entire country, but that allows states to opt out if they don’t want to participate.  Ezra Klein:

That’s a real improvement over Tom Carper’s proposal allowing individual states to create their own public options, which would would be quite a bit weaker than a national program. It also creates a neat policy experiment: We can see, over time, what happens to state insurance markets that include the national public option and compare them with those that don’t. We can see whether the worst fears of conservatives are realized and private insurers are driven out and providers are forced out of business due to low payment rates, and we can see whether the hopes of liberals are right and costs come down and private insurers become leaner and more efficient. Or both, or neither. It’s an opportunity to pit liberal and conservative policies against each other, rather than just pitting liberal and conservative congressmen against each other.

Not bad.  Let’s put those laboratories of democracy to work!  I’d add that this would also be an interesting political experiment.  The states that would benefit most from access to a public option are those in which there are the fewest private insurers.  However, those are also the states in which the insurers have the most political power and can lobby the most effectively to keep the public option out.  So which of these is the more powerful force?  I, for one, would be interested to find out.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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