Putting aside the obvious politicking and deliberate obfuscation this issue is laden with, there remains a very fundamental trade-off that ought to be considered reasonably and rationally before one's mind is made up on the matter. As I see it, a very fundamental role of government in a mostly capitalist, free-market environment, is to be the referee. To be the final arbiter of fairness, equity and equality. It is completely disengenuous and intellectually dishonest to dismiss the very real truth resident in the fact that when the referee is also a competitor, a potential conflict of interest arises. Every time, without exception. And this is precisely the trade-off associated with a healthcare public option. Implement a public option and you necessarily introduce a potential conflict of interest and all the baggage that comes with it. So the question is, is it really worth it? Is it something that we really cannot get by without? My default position on these types of decisions is always against, unless and until I'm convinced of an absolute need. I hereby challenge those in favor of the public option to convince me that such a need truly exists.