Democrat Leaders to Propose Public Health Insurance Option

LEONARDTOWN, MARYLAND - MAY 01: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) A member of the dialysis prepares to treat a patient with coronavirus in the intensive care unit at a hospital on May 1, 2020 in Leonardtown, Maryland. The coronavirus death toll in D.C., Virginia and Maryland surpassed 2,000 people on Friday as …
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Democrat leaders announced Wednesday that they will work on a bill that would establish a federal public option alternative to private health insurance.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) said they would work to craft legislation that would establish a public option to offer more affordable health insurance compared to private health insurance.

Most public option plans would create a government-run health insurance plan to compete against private health insurance options on the Obamacare exchanges.

Healthcare experts such as Sally Pipes, president of the Pacific Research Institute, said a public insurance option competing alongside private insurance would eventually crowd out private health insurance because government-run insurance could operate on a “loss indefinitely.”

Murray and Pallone claimed in a joint statement that creating a public option would expand access to health insurance, saying:

This pandemic has underscored why it’s so important to patients, families, and communities across the country that health care is truly a right, not a privilege. No one should suffer or die because quality health care was too expensive or too hard to get. We believe we must take bold steps to lower health care costs and move toward universal coverage by creating a federal public option available to everyone—and a clear majority of Americans agree. A federal public option will help guarantee that no matter where you live, who you are, or what your income—if you live in America, you can get the quality health care you need without worrying about cost.

President Joe Biden campaigned on creating a public option as a more moderate alternative to his opponents’ Medicare for All proposal. The Biden administration has yet to move forward with creating a public option. Instead, the administration has tried to boost Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies through the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus bill, otherwise known as the American Rescue Plan.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.

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