Today’s health care reform point of shame: the “optional” public option for Congress.

The public option is supposed to be great, right? If it wasn’t a good plan, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t be shoving it down Americans’ throats. They know it’s good for us, even though we don’t seem to want it – sort of like being force-fed lima beans as a child.

Interestingly, however, it’s so good that Congress doesn’t want to be on it. They have the choice of going on the plan – the House bill says that members “may” enroll in the public option. Contrast that with the phraseology used to communicate what the American public has to do – the word “shall” is used 3,425 times, the word “require” is used 118 times, and the word “must” is used 58 times.

Greg D’Angelo at The Heritage Foundation sums up the public option neatly: “The proposed government-run health care plan will be public – but for millions of Americans, it may not be an option.” Well, unless you get elected to Capitol Hill, that is.

South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson (yeah, that guy) recently introduced an amendment to require members of Congress to enroll in the public option. I respect his bravado, but worry that his plan might backfire… after all, it has to go one of two ways.

•       Either the amendment won’t be accepted (which is likely) or

•       It will be accepted, and Congress will pad the public option even further to make it ok like    their current cushy plans (which would rapidly bankrupt the country)

Either way… YOU LOSE.