Problems with Health Care’s Public Option by Gregory Hilton

Health care spending in every Western country with a public option has been growing faster since 2000 than it has been in the United States. The public option is really the government option. It will not promote competition, it will eliminate it. It would sooner or later takeover over our health care system. It will deprive people of choice. If it was just another insurance policy, then we would have 1,501 opportunities.
President Obama has frequently reassured us that, if we are happy with our present insurance, there is no cause for alarm—our right to keep it will not be denied. Of course, it will no longer exist in a few years, so the right to keep it is pointless. A new “public option” would provide employers with a strong financial incentive to drop insurance for their employees, to give way to the public plan. Private insurers will be forced out of the game as the public plan draws unlimited credit from a government.
No one knows how much this public option will cost. Some estimates peg the 10-year cost at $1.7 trillion. When the government introduced Medicare in 1965, the estimated cost to taxpayers by 1990 was supposed to be $9 billion. In reality, the cost was $67 billion — a seven-fold miscalculation. So what happens if this public option ends up costing just three times as much as estimated? That’s a 10-year cost of $5.1 trillion to taxpayers. How will we pay for it? Through tax increases. It is interesting that one of the first arguments put forward by supporters of the public option is that it won’t result in a government-run system like single-payer health care. That may be so at first, but it puts the nation on the road toward single-payer.
The UK’s National Health Service is socialized medicine and it produces some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialized world. Britain is the Western state where you’d least want to have cancer or a stroke or heart disease. Ours is now a country where thousands of people are killed in hospitals for reasons unrelated to their original condition. Britain has become a place where foreigners fear to fall ill.

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