WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Government Health Insurance Systems
WASHINGTON – As health care remains at the top of voters’ minds, Americans throughout the nation are encouraging elected officials to oppose a one-size-fits-all government health insurance system that will force American families to pay more for worse care.
Kimberly Statler, Pennsylvania:
The answer to addressing Americans’ most pressing health care concerns —high costs and lack of access — will not be solved through government-controlled proposals like the public option … Under a public option, the average American worker could see a massive $2,300 payroll tax increase. Moreover, it could worsen the financial state our hospitals are in by increasing operating losses. In rural communities, this could lead to many facilities cutting critical services or closing down for good — threatening access even further.
Moreover, the drastic cuts to physicians and providers under a public option could make it much harder to attract quality doctors and nurses to the health care workforce. There is already a growing doctor shortage that is hurting our rural communities. We should be working to fix it, not make it worse. The last thing we need right now is a public option that will increase taxes while threatening access and undermining the future of our entire health care system. Instead, let’s focus on making the system we have now work better for all Americans.
… As the debate about health care continues, some are proposing new health insurance systems that would be run by Washington politicians. This is a risky approach and I believe our leaders should instead be improving our current system–not creating new one-size-fits-all systems from scratch.
Researchers warn that new government-controlled health insurance systems like Medicare for All or the public option would lead to unsustainable revenue losses for hospitals and other health care providers. One study projects that under the public option, rural hospitals in particular will lose an additional $6 billion in revenue on top of the billions in losses that are already anticipated. As my neighbors in rural areas know, we cannot afford for our hospitals to fall on hard times and limit the care they provide or, worse, close their doors. It would force patients to travel long distances just to reach their doctors.
Under these proposals, the increased pressure on providers may force patients to wait longer to see their doctors and could decrease the quality of care that is available. These are not risks we should take, especially during a continuing pandemic. In debating health care, elected officials should not overlook rural communities in Ohio and elsewhere. Instead of starting over with a new government system that could cut many off from quality care, I urge them to improve our current health care system.