Looking ahead at health plan options

Monday, March 23, 2020
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

hospital heart monitor surgeryThis year has been labeled a referendum on just about everything, but healthcare is one thing that will definitely drive people to the polls.

Former Vice President Joe Biden wants to expand ObamaCare by adding a public option or a government-run health insurance plan to the exchanges. The idea is to increase competition and bring down prices.

A public option is not a new idea; some Democrats called for one when the Affordable Care Act was being written and debated.

"That was not included in ObamaCare, at least not completely, and so they've been whining about that ever since, and Biden wants to put that in," says Merrill Matthews, Ph.D. of the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI). "What we don't know is whether or not the deductibles will be the same, whether the co-pays would be the same, [or] what would be different from that, but it's essentially a government-run health insurance option to compete with private insurance."

Critics of a public option have long argued that it would just be laying the groundwork for a single-payer healthcare system -- something Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) has called for in his Medicare for All plan.

"Joe Biden's plan is much less clear, as it only has basic elements on there about increasing subsidies and so forth," says Dr. Matthews. "But he essentially wants to keep ObamaCare, and we don't know how much that's going to cost us the taxpayers."

Matthews

The Trump administration has suggested it is going to come out with a plan but says a vote on that can wait until after the 2020 election. That also depends on Republicans retaking control of the Senate and the House. Even then, Republicans would have to come together on the plan. Several bills were introduced and voted on in 2017 and 2018 prior to Democrats winning the majority of seats in the House of Representatives.

"Republicans still do not have a plan," says Matthews. "There is a plan out there that's been supported by former Senator Rick Santorum (D-PA) that has a lot of conservatives backing it, and it has some elements in there that probably would not completely repeal ObamaCare but might give states much more flexibility to do various things aside from ObamaCare."

While he says candidates are "not being all that helpful in finding out what plans are going to look like," Dr. Matthews recommends voters do their homework.

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

FEATURED PODCAST

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Your reaction to the positive job numbers released on Friday?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Citing jobs, Trump claims victory over virus, econ collapse
Black cops feel pain of Floyd's death, duty to their uniform
Mail ballots from Tuesday's election push Biden over the top
Black Lives Matter rallies start in Australia amid court ban
Goodell says NFL was wrong for not listening to players
Unemployment rate falls to 13.3%, US adds 2.5 million jobs
Detained US Navy veteran freed by Iran as part of deal

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Drew Brees sends a message to President Trump about his comments on kneeling protests
Maxine Waters freaks out: Remove Trump 'before this would-be dictator takes us all down'
Trump hits PBS' Yamiche Alcindor for asking how '.1 percent' increase in black unemployment is a 'victory'
4 reasons the 'collective culpability' racket is dangerous
The black and white of 'systemic racism'

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Dems eyeing Election Day eyeing NY governor, too

NY Gov. Cuomo signing abortion lawPolitics never rests, even in the midst of a pandemic, so the buzz is growing over New York’s governor wrestling the nomination from Joe Biden.