I will listen to this.
It’s the most straightforward idea for an insurance plan. People pool their money together, with no insurance company trying to take any of that money. Instead the money pool is organized by the government.
Nope, nope, you said government.
Someone has to be in charge of the pool. It isn’t going to run itself. We have to choose: It’s either run by people we elect, or by huge for-profit corporations.
Adding a public option is about giving people the choice. It’s an option.
Ideally it would create competition in the insurance market, which right now is an oligopoly. A public option would mean that insurance companies have to provide a product that’s better than the public option: if not cheaper, then justifiably better.
Obama wanted this to be part of his original law, too, but it didn’t make it through Congress.
For the same reason that Trump is having none of this! On his website, he says that a public option will “drive out private health plans and leave Americans with fewer options and eventually no choices but a government run plan.”
So he’s protecting corporations from competition?
That seems to be his reasoning.
But anything that involves the government is socialized medicine, and that is bad.
It’s so different from “socialized medicine.” This misunderstanding has been around since Lyndon Johnson passed Medicare, in 1965. Detractors then called it “socialized medicine.” Trump did the same thing 50 years later in the last debate, saying, “She wants to go to single-payer, which means the government basically rules everything.”
Which is false on two counts. Clinton isn’t proposing single-payer, and single-payer doesn’t mean the government rules everything.
Socialized medicine is when the government actually owns and operates the medical system. The common analogy is a hospital that operates like a DMV. Nobody wants that.
A single-payer system is when there is a single payer (insurer) for health care. Usually it’s the government.
A public option is when people pooling their own money—bypassing an insurance company—is at least on the table. It’s there on the Expedia for Health Insurance page.
If everyone chooses to enroll in the public option, that would become a single payer. And actually for decades, when single-payer has been alternatively called “Medicare for all,” people are pretty into it. Around 60 percent of Americans have reliably said in polls that they would support “Medicare for all.” People don’t really care who pays their bills, as long as they can go to the doctors and hospitals they want to go to. (Evidence that some people just don’t understand the terms, at least one Tea-Party advocate notoriously carried a rally sign that said, “Keep your government hands off my Medicare.”)
Detractors like to say that a single-payer system like Medicare stifles competition, but there’s always market share to be competed for—between healthcare systems, between pharmaceutical companies and medical-device manufacturers. Rather, what we have now is anti-competitive, where pharmaceutical companies, insurers, and hospital systems are merging. They have created a cost structure that is untenable—sucking down a rapidly growing 17.5 percent percent of our gross domestic product in exchange for mediocre health outcomes—and on pace to destroy the U.S. economy. Coming together under a single payer can prevent price gouging by the pharmaceutical industry. By one recent estimate, our system has become so complex that simply eliminating the administrative costs that result from hospitals and doctors trying to navigate for-profit insurance companies could save the country $350 billion every year. Not to mention eliminating all the obstacles to care that come from insurance companies making life difficult for patients and doctors.