Unless the "public option" is free or inexpensive it's snake oil.. and dangerous snake oil at that. [View all]
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I'll start this discussion by stating that I consider Biden's and Bennet's debate performances last night as failures. They both insist that adding a "public option" to the ACA is the healthcare system we all should have, but what does that public option actually mean to a consumer? HOW MUCH would my premiums and deductibles be relative to a comparable plan provided by private insurance? THAT'S the most important question, and neither proffered an answer.
So let's address the proposal to keep the ACA:
The ACA should not be a Democratic sacred cow just because it began with the Obama Administration and is better than what we had previously. Even President Obama considered it only a stepping stone (albeit a significant one) on our way to single payer health CARE, as opposed to profit-dominated private health INSURANCE. So, why did he SETTLE for the ACA instead of single payer? Well, because it was constructed upon a Heritage Foundation concept he thought (naively) that he could at least get a few Republicans to agree to the plan, ostensibly unaware that all those Republicans had made a compact among themselves to thwart ANY and all programs that Obama might chalk up as achievements.
Most important in its consideration, in my view, is that the Affordable Care Act is certainly not "affordable" for many Americans... 27 MILLION of us are STILL uninsured. And then there are millions of people such as myself, who barely earned $50k last year but had to fork over $900+ per month, for just myself as a single person, for medical premiums under an ACA-subsidized plan.
Second, "insurance" companies, their executives, and their agents do not wield stethoscopes and scalpels. They don't operate cat-scan machines nor perform operations. They exist to generate PROFITS. And make no mistake about it... they generate ENORMOUS profits. And any and all profits that go to such middlemen could otherwise be directed to health care, itself. We already have real world examples... should I list them? Canada, the UK, France, Scandinavia, Japan, Australia... all of whom have better health CARE delivery than our own, not to mention greater life expectancies.
So, is adding a "public option" to this present mixture a way to reduce overall costs of health care? Please tell me how, because Joe Biden certainly hasn't. How would it eliminate private insurance as the primary element in our health care allocation system? How would it eliminate those PROFITS?
Well, I'll tell you how (again, Biden certainly hasn't) it COULD work. If we're going to have a "public option" on top of the ACA then its premiums must be free or nearly free, in order that employers can eliminate arrangements with private insurers and have their employees move to the public option, or purchase group public option plans themselves. Eventually, private insurance would be replaced as our dominant factor by the sheer weight of its expense to consumers.
So why is the public option "dangerous" at COMPETITIVE rates (i.e. market rates determined by the private insurance companies)? Because unless those rates are actually significantly better they will be perceived as pointless, endangering their very existence, and thus eliminating a movement to government assistance for universal care altogether.
I CAN NOT support your "public option" Joe unless you tell me it's going to be free or inexpensive. Right now you are endangering the future of universal health care.