The Public Option (in health care and beyond)

 Whenever you go to your local public library, send mail via the post office, or visit Yosemite, you are taking advantage of a longstanding American tradition: the public option. These government-supported opportunities coexist peaceably alongside private options, ensuring equal access and expanding opportunity for all.

In our forthcoming book, THE PUBLIC OPTION, Ganesh Sitaraman and I challenge decades of received wisdom about the proper role of government and consider the improvements that could come from the expansion of public options. Public options hold the potential to transform American civic life, offering a wealth of solutions to seemingly intractable problems, from child care shortages to the escalating cost of higher education.

Imagine a low-cost, high-quality public option for child care. Or an extension of the excellent Thrift Savings Plan for federal employees to all Americans. Or every person having access to an account at the Federal Reserve Bank, with no fees and no minimums. From broadband internet to higher education, The Public Option reveals smart new ways to meet pressing public needs while spurring healthy competition. More effective than vouchers or tax credits, public 

can often co-exist with private pro