WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: Americans Urge Elected Officials To Build On What Is Working, Reject One-Size-Fits-All Health Care
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.
It’s amazing to me that as hospitals in Arizona and nationwide continue to grapple with the unforeseen costs of the COVID-19 pandemic, some are still pushing for misguided, government-controlled proposals that would increase their financial burdens and threaten patient access to care. Far-fetched, unaffordable proposals like the public option or Medicare for All would almost certainly lead to higher taxes for hardworking Arizona families while undermining the very hospitals that need our support right now. This is not the right answer for Arizona or the rest of the country. Hospitals and their heroic workers shouldn’t have to worry about their jobs being around when this pandemic is over.
… A public option … would eventually push employer-sponsored and private health care plans out of the marketplace as private insurers would simply be unable to compete. That would leave Pennsylvanians with fewer options and less flexibility to find a plan that works for them. Instead, we’d all be forced into the same, one-size-fits-all box. Reducing options is no way to improve health care—and the cuts to providers under a public option could endanger access to care in our rural communities by putting rural hospitals one step closer to closing their doors for good. We all want to fix health care, but let’s do that by improving our current system, not tearing it down and replacing it with an inferior one.
… I am deeply concerned by government-controlled health care plans like Medicare for All or the public option. If enacted, this kind of one-size-fits-all system would only introduce more bureaucracy in the health care system while at the same time increasing costs for working families and reducing access for at-risk patients.
… [O]ne thing we do know for sure is that such a system would come at an exceedingly high cost for working families in New Hampshire. According to one study, paying for a public option could require a nearly 5% payroll tax increase on the average American worker, which would total roughly $2,300 per year in higher taxes… Additionally, a public option could have a detrimental impact on local hospitals. According to the New Hampshire Hospital Association, hospitals across the state are projected to lose $700 million by the end of the year due to the economic impact of COVID-19. A public option system would exponentially increase these losses, potentially forcing many hospitals out of business, especially in our rural communities, where budgets are already stretched thin … Lawmakers in D.C. and Concord should think twice before pushing government-controlled health care proposals like the public option.
As we debate how to improve our country’s health care system, we must consider how any proposal would affect small businesses and the millions of Americans they employ. As a small business owner, I know that a new government-controlled health insurance system like Medicare for All or the public option is absolutely the wrong way to go. Instead, we must build on what works within our current health care system while making care more affordable.
Experts warn that Medicare for All would increase federal spending by $32 trillion in its first decade alone — an amount that would result in huge tax hikes on hardworking Americans. Even the supposed “moderate” alternative of the public option would result higher costs for taxpayers, according to economists. Middle-class Americans, including small business owners, cannot afford a steep increase in costs, especially in this economy. Not only would the public option or Medicare for All cost us more, research shows that either system would lead to lower-quality care and longer wait times.
Small business owners, their employees and all Montanans should have access to affordable, high-quality health care. Instead of turning to unaffordable new government-controlled health insurance systems, lawmakers should protect our employer-provided coverage, build and improve on what is working today, and focus on making coverage and care more affordable.
… [N]ot enough people are made aware of the fact that a public option system would be one of the top three costliest government programs in our country, just after Medicare and Social Security. How would this government-controlled health insurance system get paid for? It would require a $2,300 payroll tax increase for the average American worker. In exchange, we wouldn’t see improved services, access, or quality of care—in fact, quite the opposite … To strengthen health care access, we need to continue to improve system we have now, not start over with a new government-controlled one.
Anyone living with chronic health conditions as I do understands the value and importance of private health care insurance with flexible options that meet our highly individualized needs. That is why I cannot fathom how some of our politicians in Washington, D.C., are still pushing proposals such as the public option. This is nothing more than a slippery slope to government-controlled health care, and would decimate the comprehensive, quality health care plans available today.
In order to fund what could be the third-costliest government program in existence, some estimate a public option could result in a $2,300 payroll tax increase on the average working American. Not only that, but it would destabilize the insurance market, undermining the private and employer-sponsored plans that nearly 180 million Americans rely on to access the care they need. In the private plans that remain, premiums would likely increase.
When it comes to strengthening health care, lawmakers should look at what they can do to build on what’s currently working well in our system while introducing smaller policy changes to address what isn’t.