Medicare at 55? Why the latest health care proposal is a gift to insurers

As the health care debate continues to grind on, the public option seems to be, once again, on the way out. Supporters have hailed the proposal as a way to introduce competition into the marketplace, while opponents have attacked it as socialized medicine and the first step toward rationed health care. Critics have also raised fears that it would invite so-called "death panels" that would euthanize unprofitable patients.

Some further muddied the water with the specter of publicly funded abortions and the argument that governmental leaders and their staffs should be forced to use the same health care plan that they develop for the rest of the country.