Why The Public Health Care Option Is So Important
As the New York Times writes Wednesday, co-ops, some of which will be small, won’t be able to compete with big insurance companies.
While a public plan has been demonized by opponents as a big-government takeover of health care, the idea is to increase competition among insurers and give consumers more choices.
One alternative would be to create nonprofit, member-owned cooperatives to compete with private insurers. They are unlikely to have the purchasing power of a government plan. And Republicans are already saying they will oppose cooperatives too.
And Howard Dean blogs at Think Progress about why the public plan is worth fighting for:
If we only get reform that requires insurance companies to provide coverage to everyone who applies, charge everyone the same premiums, and end their discriminatory practices, that would be great insurance reform, but it’s not…health care reform.
Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option would give Americans a real choice and not reward for-profit health insurers with 47 milllion new customers. Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option would cut out the administrative waste of private insurers and begin changing the way health care is delivered. Real health care reform that includes a new public health insurance option could adopt the kind of payment reforms that would start to “hold down long-term growth in health spending” and encourage providers to deliver care more efficiently. We know that premiums in the public option would be about 10 percent lower and that a real robust plan that piggy backs off of Medicare’s infrastructure could save us somewhere between $75 billion and $150 billion over 10 years.
Democrats shouldn’t give up just because it’s a tough fight.Click here for reuse options!
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