A Public Option Would Restrict Patient Choice of Plans and Access to Care

WASHINGTON – The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future issued the following statement regarding the introduction of Medicare-X legislation in the U.S. Senate today:

“The Partnership for America’s Health Care Future believes that the way to fix America’s health care system is to build upon what is working and fix what is not. This includes items that would, working together, strengthen the free market and public programs, while bring down costs. However, the introduction of a one-size-fit all, government-run plan puts too much power in the control of politicians and Washington, ultimately to the detriment of patients,” said Lauren Crawford Shaver, the Partnership’s executive director.  “Every American deserves access to quality, affordable health care, but this legislation has the potential to limit choices in coverage, take control out of the hands of patients, and restrict access to physicians.” 

Medicare-X would simply pay physicians and hospitals at significantly lower rates than private plans, and as a result it would adversely affect providers’ ability to continue to offer services, endangering patients’ access to their doctors and care.

In fact, a study released last month shows that buy-in proposals like Medicare-X would have a harmful effect on hospitals and patients.  The study, conducted by Navigant, looked at various Medicare for all-style proposals, including buy-in, and found they could force hospitals to limit the care they provide, drive significant “layoffs” and “potentially force the closure of essential hospitals.”