The self-proclaimed arbiters of the public good have spoken.  Liberal senators tout public health insurance

A new public insurance plan is an essential part of reforming the U.S. healthcare system, 16 Democratic senators declared in a letter[pdf] to two powerful committee chairmen Wednesday.

“As members of key committees and leaders on health care issues, we write to support a public plan option as a core component of this reform,” the letter said. “There is no reason to believe that private insurers alone will meet the public purpose of ensuring coverage for all Americans at affordable prices for taxpayers.”

A public plan option “would provide competition to the sometimes dysfunctional private insurance market,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who originated the letter, said on a conference call with reporters Wednesday.

What happened when the government tried to fulfill the public purpose of a house for every American?  I forget.  Oh, yes.  Financial industry armageddon.  That won’t happen this time because……a government monopoly will whip the dysfunctional private sector into shape?  Really?  But Congress doesn’t trust its own regulatory effectiveness when faced with the criminal masterminds of the insurance industry:

Brown said that even with strong insurance market reforms designed to prevent health plans from denying coverage or charging sky-high premiums to people with preexisting conditions, a public plan remains necessary. “Insurance companies have a reputation of staying one step ahead of the sheriff,” he said.

But it will be able to police its own one-payer system effectively.  Of course.

The deniers trot out the same irrelevent, to proponents, arguments against the plan:

Republicans, along with healthcare and business interests, oppose the public plan option. The[y] contend that the plan will muscle out private insurers by cutting payment rates to medical providers in order to charge lower premiums, and will lead to the federal government dominating the insurance market.

Government domination of the insurance market is the purpose, not an adverse side effect or an unintended consequence.  The proof of that pudding from The Foundry:

…So what is the left’s “strategy” for turning a seemingly innocuous public health insurance option into single payer nationalized medicine? It goes something like this:

Recent SCHIP expansion and additional Medicaid funding in the stimulus package made a substantial down payment on major expansion of government run health programs. Established research shows that a public health plan will ”crowd out” private insurance, forcing millions of Americans off their current plans, and away from their family doctors. A public health plan, coupled with Comparative Effectiveness Research,  would engineer artificially lower prices for medical services through the imposition of Medicare-style price controls. Such Medicare-style payment levels would undercut the market share of existing private health plans, and, combined with a mandate on employers, stack the incentives against workers in private employer-based health insurance by encouraging their employers to dump them into a new government-run health plan.   Watch the video of Rep. Schakowksy’s statements on The Foundry. She clearly admits that the purpose of the government run option is to kill private insurance so everyone eventually is forced into government-run health care.

Now you know.  No misguided good intentions going astray here.  Everything’s going according to plan.