July 18, 2019 | Updates

Would Biden’s ‘Public Option’ Protect The ACA Or Precipitate Its Elimination?

WASHINGTON – This week, former Vice President Joe Biden rolled out a health care proposal including a new government-run health insurance system he claims would build upon and strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and criticized some of his fellow Democratic presidential candidates for supporting one-size-fits-all health care proposals that would lead to its elimination.  But Biden’s own embrace of a government-run health care system known as a “public option” would ultimately lead to the same result, as proponents and commentators alike agree that such a plan is simply “a back door to Medicare for all.”

BIDEN: “I Knew The Republicans Would Do Everything In Their Power To Repeal Obamacare, They Still Are, But I’m Surprised So Many Democrats Are Running On Getting Rid Of [ACA].” (@JoeBiden, Twitter, 7/15/19)

But Proponents And Commentators Alike Agree That A “Public Option” Approach Is Just A Pathway To Medicare For All:
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN): A “Buy-In” Or “Public Option” System “Will Be A Very Natural Glide Path To The Single Payer Environment.” (The New York Times, 6/28/19)

Jonathan Allen, NBC News: Proposals Were A “Back Door To Medicare For All.” “The 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.  In a general election, that’s a different question.” (YouTube, 7/15/19)

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “I Think The Much More Plausible Path To A Single Payer Health Care System Is Through A Public Option.” (Axios, 7/23/18)

The Wall Street Journal: “Some of the candidates want a total government health system, also known as single payer, that would end employer and most private coverage.  Others are supporting stepping stones to single payer, such as a letting people younger than 65 buy into Medicare, the popular program for seniors.” (The Wall Street Journal, 2/11/19)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY): “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.” (The New York Times, 6/28/19)
Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): A “Public Option” Could Be “An Interim Step,” Towards Medicare For All. “U.S. Senator Dick Durbin wants to see the United States eventually implement a “’Medicare for all’ type health care program … Durbin says an interim step could be offering some type of ‘public option’ as part of the Affordable Care Act’s existing insurance exchanges.  ‘And the interim is to offer a public option,’ Durbin said.’” (Illinois Public Media, 7/6/17)

Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): “I know that many of you … are single payer advocates, and so am I … Those of us who are pushing for a public health insurance option, don’t disagree with the goal … This is a fight about strategy for getting there and I believe we will.” (YouTube, 4/27/09)

And Make No Mistake, A One-Size-Fits-All Government Run System Would Eliminate The ACA:
S.1129 – Medicare for All Act of 2019 – SEC. 902: “Effective on the date described in section 106, the Federal and State Exchanges established pursuant to title I of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111–148) shall terminate, and any other provision of law that relies upon participation in or enrollment through such an Exchange, including such provisions of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, shall cease to have force or effect.” (S.1129, “Medicare For All Act Of 2019,” Congress.Gov, Introduced 4/10/19)



Privacy Policy