Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Beginning of the End of Private Health Insurance

How Obama's public health insurance option will quickly evolve into the only option
Ronald Bailey | June 9, 2009

In his weekly radio address on Saturday, President Barack Obama declared that "it's time to deliver" on health care reform. In a letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), President Obama wrote, "I strongly believe that Americans should have the choice of a public health insurance option operating alongside private plans. This will give them a better range of choices, make the health care market more competitive, and keep insurance companies honest." This week Sen. Kennedy released a draft of his proposed "American Health Choices Act" which includes one such optional public health insurance plan. The administration's goal is to report that bill out of the relevant Senate committees by the end of this month.

Earlier this week, Republican lawmakers sent a letter of their own, strongly warning the president that "Washington-run programs undermine market-based competition through their ability to impose price controls and shift costs to other purchasers. Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition."
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