The purpose of a public option is to compete on price and quality, thereby forcing insurance companies to become more competitive. What's much better than offering one public option is to offer several of them, so consumers can choose the best fit. And by making them profit generating, these “Deficit Fighting Public Options” can help balance the budget.
One way to truly ensure that these Public Options will be Profit Generating is to not allow them to undercut the competition. Whatever the lowest price in a given market may be, the Public Options must charge an amount equal or greater to them. This means that the government will only be competing on quality, and not on price. If you may ask why would anyone be interested in purchasing such a Public Option, the reason is that many Americans trust the US government more than they do the insurance industry. If they feel the government will be less likely to them deny coverage when they need it, let them purchase a Public Option and pay full price for it. Millions of Americans will have greater peace of mind, and the federal government will make money off of them.
Now I don't think those in favor of a Public Option will need to go that far in order to get the votes they need. I think the previous ideas I gave will be more than enough to get the measure passed. Giving each state the power to allow these Profit Generating Public Options to be sold – and to get a cut of the revenue - is an especially good idea, since it will put pressure on state legislators to vote in favor of allowing their state to offer the Public Options. However if all else fails, a Profit Generating Public Option that will only compete on quality and never undercut on price will be an especially hard measure to vote against.