"Let Us Help Us" (LUHU) would create a health care auction house, where everything from simple dental procedures and mental health counseling to organ transplantation could be submitted and bid on. A person with a high deductible looking to lower the cost of a procedure like having their gall bladder removed, could fill out an online form and have any number of bids to sift through within a matter of minutes.
"We call it Let Us Help Us, and we think it will revolutionize the way we seek health care in this country," Rep. Billy Long (D-MO) one of the initiative's authors, told reporters at a press conference. "It embraces the essence of the free market system, without the oppressive hand of government regulation Republicans whine about so much.
"It's like eBay for sick folks. This is a real neighbor helping neighbor system we've developed, and it could be a real boon to veterinarians, and some non-health care professionals with special skills to help take up the slack and make a few bucks on the side," said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Cal), another LUHU supporter.
"People looking to help the sick will be able to search the LUHU website by malady, region, even keyword," noted Sen. Boxer. "We envision neighbors teaming up with neighbors to create co-ops to heal the sick. How much good could a seamstress/wood carver/sausage stuffer co-op achieve helping America's growing trans-gender community by doing sex change operations? With this addition to ObamaCare, we'll find out."
Reaction to the Democrat public option plan has been mixed, with 23% of those polled suggesting they'd take up arms to see it implemented. A less-vocal majority have expressed some concern over farming their health care out to the lowest bidder.
"I bought a lamp on eBay last year, and that thing sucked," said one woman. "It looked great online, though. Do I really want to trust my hip replacement to a system like that?"
Others see benefits in the open market approach the Democrats have laid out.
"I'm hoping they let illegal Mexicans in the program. That only seems fair, to let them illegals in," said Dr. Shabang X, personal physician to Leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan . "I'd be low bid, man. Ever' time."
The first test for the Democrats public option plan will come later this week, when the plan's authors will meet with insurance company CEOs to try and shore up support among Blue Dog and other moderate democrats. With sufficient backing, the 'Let Us Help Us' marketplace could be instituted later this year.