Even if states can opt out, will they?

Will governors and state legislators pull out the rug?

We’re happy to hear folks asking this question: If Democrats succeed in passing health reform legislation with an opt-out public option as included in Harry Reid’s Senate bill, would any states actually opt out?

Conservatives seem to like the idea that states could take a pass on a public option provision they dread. But really, Andrew Sullivan asks in the Atlantic Monthly, will Republicans at the state level really feel like having a discussion that ends with the state removing a potentially less expensive health coverage alternative for its constituents?

Sullivan says he can actually see the public option “becoming the equivalent of Medicare” – the public program that voters have been screaming about all summer. (“Hands off my Medicare!” and also “Medicare sucks!”)

But apparently, the answer may be “yes” for at least SOME of the state officials and wannabe officials. TPMDC polled a few of them here.

Problem is, Sullivan notes that opting out likely won’t be a snap for states that ARE committed.

And will opting out even be a hot issue when the states finally HAVE the option? (As Ezra Klein points out, states wouldn’t be able to opt out until 2014 – and heck, who knows what we’ll be worrying about five years from now.)

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