"A proposed government-run health insurance program, among the most divisive issues in the health care debate, would cover less than 1.5% of the population, new estimates show. The latest version of the "public option," included in the 10-year, $848 billion health care bill headed toward an initial Senate vote Saturday, would cover up to 4 million people, according to the Congressional Budget Office report released late Wednesday night. The issue remains among those that have prevented Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from securing the 60 votes he needs to pass the bill. Paul Ginsburg, an economist with the Center for Studying Health System Change, questions the impact the public option proposals would have on families seeking health coverage. "The type of public option we're talking about today . . . is all about ideology and symbolism," he said. "It's not going to have any impact on our health system."
That last comment perfectly describes both the healthcare debate and the Obama administration: "all about ideology and symbolism".