Senator Booker: Public Option Is ‘First Step’ To Medicare For All
WASHINGTON – In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) became the latest Democratic presidential candidate to confirm that a new government insurance system known as a “public option” is designed to lead to Medicare for all, meaning it would ultimately subject Americans to the same high costs, unaffordable tax increases, loss of consumer choice and diminished access to high-quality health care.
“Medicare for all is what we should be going for, but the first step getting there has to be showing that we can create a public option, or allowing Medicare to be available for more people,” Booker said to CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday.
Experts confirm that a “public option” would lead America to a single, government-run health care system – and have warned that it will drive costs up for those on private plans. Dr. Scott Atlas of Stanford University explains that a “public option” would “mainly erode, or ‘crowd out,’ private insurance, rather than provide coverage to the uninsured” and “would cause premiums for private insurance to skyrocket,” as he recently wrote in The Wall Street Journal. The Pacific Research Institute’s Sally Pipes explains that “[a] public option would gradually destroy the private insurance market – and ultimately result in single-payer healthcare … [D]octors and hospitals would need to raise the rates they charge private insurers in order to balance their books. Insurers would raise premiums in response, and yet more people would jump to the public option. The cycle would repeat, until private insurers found themselves without any customers. Eventually, the public option would be the only option.”
Several of Booker’s fellow 2020 hopefuls have also acknowledged that a “public option” or “buy-in” approach would lead to a one-size-fits-all government-run health care system. During the first round of presidential debates recently, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) said: “The truth is, if you have a buy-in over a four or five year period, you move us to single payer more quickly,” adding that under such a system, “our step to single payer is so short.” And Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN) emphasized that a “buy-in” or “public option” system “will be a very natural glide path to the single payer environment.”
And NBC News reporter Jonathan Allen explained to viewers that “[t]he public option is essentially a back door to Medicare for all. You can say all day long if you want it’s not Medicare for all. But this is a different packaging of how to get there.”