The Public Option Returneth

With the collapse of the Obamacare exchange markets imminent, the Left Wing is calling for the return of the “public option”. The public option would be a single-payer system run by the government that would “compete” with private insurance, supposedly without subsidies to make things fair. According to the Left Wing, this is “only way” to return competition to the Obamacare exchanges, many of which have shrunk down to a single insurer.

It’s all lies. They know it’s all lies. That entire paragraph above can be exploded with two words: state lines.

For years, the Republicans have advocated that health insurance be sold across state lines, rather than within fifty restricted markets. The reason is very simple: in many states, there is no competition for insurance. In Alabama, for example, Blue Cross is a virtual monopoly, controlling 90% of the private insurance market. Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines would allow at least the big insurers and preferably dozens to compete in every market in America. It would destroy the virtual monopoly many insurance companies enjoy. It would not be a silver bullet — establishing networks of doctors and hospitals is arduous. But it would help.

Democrats have opposed this, claiming that it would cause a “race to the bottom” as employers sought the worst insurance possible. Apart from the bald cynicism, this is hysterical bullshit. We already have established federal guidelines for minimal insurance standards.

But the public option talk exposes several lies at once. The Democrats claim that the public option would not be subsidized. But the public option has a built in subsidy which is … the ability to be sold across state lines. And I would expect other non-subsidy subsidies to follow suit: forcing doctors to accept it; hiding administrative costs in other parts of the government (as Medicare does); exemption from federal and state regulations that drive up the cost of private insurance.

Obamacare was Stage One of moving us toward a single payer healthcare system. Obama said as much himself. The public option is simply Stage Two. If the Democrats wants single payer, then they should advocate for single payer. I’ll oppose them, but at least that would be honest. The public options is simply an attempt to sneak single payer in through the back door.

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  1. AlexInCT

    With the collapse of the Obamacare exchange markets imminent, the Left Wing is calling for the return of the “public option”. 

    Can you call for the return of something that was intended from the start?

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  2. AlexInCT

    For years, the Republicans have advocated that health insurance be sold across state lines, rather than within fifty restricted markets. The reason is very simple: in many states, there is no competition for insurance. In Alabama, for example, Blue Cross is a virtual monopoly, controlling 90% of the private insurance market. Allowing insurance to be sold across state lines would allow at least the big insurers and preferably dozens to compete in every market in America.

    Where is the opportunity for graft the democratic party so loves in this idea? And even worse, this would work, killing their push for single-payer deader than too many democrat voters….

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  3. RonK

    Where is the opportunity for graft the democratic party so loves in this idea?

    look at the VA system, that what the ‘single payer’ system is going to look like.

     

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  4. AlexInCT

    look at the VA system, that what the ‘single payer’ system is going to look like.

    Except since at that point there will be no alternative, it will get magnitudes of orders worse. Much much worse. It will be on par in shittyness with all those systems we get told are awesome because they are socially just, but when you look closely are massive shit sandwiches.

    The left hates the middle class. The only system they like is one where you have an elite oligarchy, of course with all the power and wealth, and they imagine they will be that oligarchy, and the rest of the people serve them, or, if they get uppity, get punished. When you control healthcare and access to healthcare, you basically have even more power over life and death, and when the serfs know that, they will behave or else! Disarm them, own their healthcare.. Where have we seen this play out again? I recall just 3 or so years ago they where hailing such a place as a model of progressive greatness, and now the people are eating each other while the aristocracy fiddles and lives in great opulence.

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  5. Hal_10000 *

    Except since at that point there will be no alternative, it will get magnitudes of orders worse. Much much worse. It will be on par in shittyness with all those systems we get told are awesome because they are socially just, but when you look closely are massive shit sandwiches.

    I agree.  The VA would be a lot worse if it weren’t looking after veterans, if you get me.  There is an entire Department of Veterans Affairs.  There are advocacy group and almost universal consensus that veterans should be taken care of. And the VA <i>still</i> sucks.  Can you imagine the VA without even the poor accountability standards to which they are held?  The VA killed veterans through bullshit and no one even got fired.  All they did was say, “oh, it was underfunded!”

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