Terrified of competition
The opponents of "socialized medicine" look like that boxer who calls his rival a weak girly man but then sh.ts his pants at the suggestion of being paired against him in a boxing match.
If socialized medicine is as bad as they claim, then they have no reason to oppose it. Nobody save a handful of masochists will sign up for a government option that provides inferior service vs. HMOs. Opposition to the government option by HMOs is by itself an admission of their vulnerability to competition. What it means is that they see any government plan, even the one run by such an incompetent government as obama's, as more efficient and offering more bang for the buck. And while displaying their partiotism and requesting that we write them a fatter check in the name of ideological orthodoxy, they have no illusions about it: they understand that if a cheaper option becomes available at 12am, then by 12pm the last flag-waving patriot will become a rational consumer.
"Mr. Obama says the public plan would keep insurers honest, but Republicans say it could eventually drive private insurers from the market, leaving consumers with fewer choices."
"But there are profound disagreements on other proposals, including the Medicare cuts, tax increases to pay for the subsidies, and the public-plan option, which virtually all Republicans oppose and which insurers regard as a threat to their existence."