November 18, 2019 | Press Releases

New Study: Millions Would Lose Existing Health Coverage Under The Public Option

WASHINGTON – A study released today by FTI Consulting and the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future reveals a new government-controlled health insurance system known as the public option could “eventually cause the elimination of all private plans in the individual market.”
The study finds that “the public option would eliminate consumer choice for millions of Americans enrolled in the ACA exchanges and force many current enrollees to lose coverage. In the first year following introduction of the public option, over 130,000 Americans enrolled in ACA coverage would be forced off of their existing health plan. Over a decade, up to two million enrollees could experience a loss of private coverage as insurers exit the marketplaces.” At the close of that same 10-year period, the study finds, more than 7 million current enrollees would no longer have private coverage through the marketplaces, a number greater than the combined populations of Chicago, Houston and Phoenix.
Not only that, the study warns that “insurers would be expected to leave the marketplaces altogether, diminishing choice even for those with the resources or subsidies to cover their preferred plan … [F]ollowing introduction of the public option, 20 percent of state marketplaces would no longer offer a single private insurance option by 2028. By 2050, that figure would be expected to reach nearly 70 percent (34 states), representing nearly a quarter of marketplace enrollees.”
“This new study is the latest warning that, while Medicare for All will eliminate every American’s existing health care coverage virtually overnight, so-called ‘moderate’ fallbacks like the public option will lead to the same harmful consequences over time,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s executive director. “Either way, the result is a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system controlled by politicians, under which Americans will pay more and wait longer for lower-quality care.”
Lastly, the study warns “[i]nsurance markets in rural areas would be particularly hard hit by the public option,” as “consumers outside of the states’ population centers may find few, if any, options for private insurance in the marketplaces. This in turn could create a ‘two-tier’ health system where employer-based insurance provides access to a different set of hospitals or services than could be accessed through the public option, exacerbating health disparities and harming the very population the ACA was designed to help.”

  • To read the complete report from FTI Consulting, CLICK HERE.
  • To learn more about the public option, CLICK HERE
  • To learn more about the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future, CLICK HERE.

While some candidates and politicians have attempted to frame the public option and similar new government-controlled health insurance systems as “moderate” alternatives to Medicare for All, FTI’s latest study shows one-size-fits-all proposals, regardless of their name, will force Americans to pay more to wait longer for worse care.
About FTI Consulting: FTI Consulting, Inc. is a global business advisory firm dedicated to helping organizations manage change, mitigate risk and resolve disputes: financial, legal, operational, political & regulatory, reputational and transactional. With more than 4,700 employees located in 28 countries, FTI Consulting professionals work closely with clients to anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex business challenges and make the most of opportunities. For more information, visit and connect with us on Twitter (@FTIConsulting), Facebook and LinkedIn.
About the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future: The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future’s (PAHCF) mission is to build on what’s working in health care and fix what’s not. Every American deserves access to affordable health coverage and high-quality care. Our health care system allows tens of millions of patients and families to receive world-class care delivered by world-class doctors and hospitals. But we can and must do more to ensure health care works for all Americans. That’s why the nation’s leading doctors, nurses, clinicians, community hospitals, health insurance providers, and biopharmaceutical companies want to work together to lower costs, protect patient choice, expand access, improve quality and foster innovation. And whether it’s called Medicare for All, Medicare buy-in, or the public option, one-size-fits-all health care will never allow us to achieve those goals. That’s why we support building on the strength of employer-provided health coverage and preserving Medicare, Medicaid, and other proven solutions that hundreds of millions of Americans depend on – to expand access to affordable, high-quality coverage for every American.


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