Dems Signal Renewed Interest In Public Option, But Hospitals Want It Out Of Platform
Adding a public option to the insurance market has gained traction of late as both Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama have voiced support for it. But not everyone thinks it's a good idea.
Senate Democrats Show Appetite For Public Option
Senate Democrats are optimistic that, should Hillary Clinton become president, adding a public health care option to the individual insurance market would fare better the second time around than it did in 2009. The public option has resurfaced as a topic of discussion in the health care industry after Clinton reaffirmed and strengthened her support for it over the weekend. President Obama then penned an article in JAMA on Monday, citing it as a way to improve competition on exchanges. Republicans are highly unlikely to support adding a government-run plan to individual insurance. (Owens, 7/12)
Hospitals Decry Public Option In Democratic Platform
Hospital groups want the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee to remove calls for a public insurance option from the final version of the party's platform. In a letter sent July 8 to the committee, the American Hospital Association and the Federation of American Hospitals said creating a public option with Medicare-like payments would reduce provider payments to hospitals. (Weixel, 7/12)
The Fiscal Times:
Obama Opens The Back Door To A Single-Payer Nationalized Health Plan
Among the many bones the Obama administration had to throw to supporters of the health insurance industry in order to get their support for the Affordable Care Act, abandoning the idea of a “public option” on the health insurance exchanges -- a way for consumers to buy in to a Medicare-type program -- was among the biggest. For-profit insurance companies had no interest in trying to compete with the federal government on the open market, and the opposition to the idea was bipartisan. Even powerful Democrats in Congress promised to block any health care reform bill that expanded the federal government’s role in the health insurance sector beyond Medicare and Medicaid. (Garver, 7/12)
Meanwhile, KHN takes a look at what happened with that "Medicare for all" Bernie Sanders kept talking about —
Kaiser Health News:
Democrats Unite, But What Happened To 'Medicare For All'?
After a raucous debate lasting nearly a year, the Democrats are united on health care. But that unity does not include a call for a single-payer “Medicare for all” health system. ... Sanders did win a few health care concessions in the negotiations leading to the endorsement. Clinton vowed to support more funding for community health centers and access to a “public option” government insurance plan, which she has supported in the past. But on Sanders’ top health priority — his “Medicare for All” plan — there was not a word. At the Democratic Platform Committee meeting over the weekend, an amendment to add a single-payer plan to the document was defeated. (Rovner, 7/13)