Michael Tanner blogs about it for Cato:
Faced with rising opposition to a so-called “public option” in health care reform, some Democrats are floating the idea of establishing health insurance “co-operatives” as an alternative. Opponents of a government takeover of the health care system should not be fooled. . . .
Supporters of government-run health care have no intention of letting the co-ops be independent enterprises. In fact, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) makes it clear, for example, that the co-op’s officers and directors would be appointed by the president and Congress. He insists that there be a single national co-op. And Congress would set the rules under which it operates. As Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) says, “It’s got to be written in a way that accomplishes the objectives of a public option.”
If a “co-op” is run by the federal government under rules imposed by the federal government with funding provided by the federal government, that is government-run health insurance by another name.