Flashback from Robert Gehl: with Obamacare on the skids, liberals led by Hillary Clinton are pushing even harder for the “public option,” or a complete government takeover of health care.
Clinton goes so far as to declare support for this in her campaign (with a campaign video on her website titled “Affordable Health Care Is A Basic Human Right,” which is so isn’t).
So far, 16 healthcare exchanges have failed. The entire system is “very near collapse” and more and more areas have become healthcare “monopolies,” with only one provider left who can set rates to whatever they want.
Of the 34 exchanges that United Health Group is in, they’re leaving 31 of them. Aetna is leaving 11 of the 15 states they were in. Almost three quarters of Americans who rely on Obamacare have fewer choices and much, much higher premiums.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, almost four in five states will be left with only one Obamacare insurer.
But Hillary is doubling-down on Obamacare, saying she will “defend and expand” the failing program. Her solution is to creat a “Public Option”: a government-run health insurer that will compete alongside private insurers. This, the Daily Caller reports, would be a disaster.
A public option would essentially “be a government-sponsored and government-run insurance plan, probably modeled on the traditional Medicare program, which would be offered to customers on the exchanges as an alternative to the private-insurance plans,” according to AEI.
Backed by taxpayer money, a public option would act in direct competition to private insurance plans on the exchange marketplace. A public option would not be in the business of competing for price equilibrium, as would be the case in any private marketplace where firms vie for competitive advantage in pricing to get the greatest share of the market possible.
The end result would be to crowd out private insurance altogether.
As Cato Institute health care scholar Michael Cannon notes, “unfair advantages are inevitable” with the public option.
Sure enough, when the public option was still under consideration in 2009, the health care consulting company Lewin Group determined that its implementation would shift nearly 120 million Americans onto government insurance.
The Obama administration has been trying something similar to the public option for years now, in the form of Obamacare’s 24 nonprofit insurance providers called co-ops. Their government-conferred advantages allowed them to offer plans with some of the lowest premiums on the exchanges, discouraging traditional insurers from competing in the same markets.