Okay, and some text, too:
America’s Affordable Health Choices Act includes a new Health Insurance Exchange which allows individuals without coverage to comparison shop – encouraging plans to compete on price and quality. One of the many choices of health insurance within the Exchange will be a public health insurance option. It will provide important competition to private insurers – including in the many areas of our country dominated by just one or two private insurers today.(graphics and quote from the website of Speaker Nancy Pelosi)
The public option will operate on a level playing field. It will be subject to the same market reforms and consumer protections as other private plans in the Exchange and it will be self-sustaining – financed only by its premiums.
Participating in the public plan will be up to the individual – no one can be forced into the public option. If an employer is providing their employees’ health insurance through the Exchange, it is the employee – not the employer – choosing the plan. The only way people would be in the public plan is as a result of their own individual choice.