Public Plan Facts

What Others Are Saying

Americans aren’t the only ones concerned about government-run health care. Explore the links below to see what others are saying about a “public plan.”

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Read Some Quotes

Others Speaking Out

  • “Would a public plan have lower administrative costs? Well, how often are public enterprises run more efficiently than private ones? Why did practically all economically advanced nations dismantle their public airlines, phone companies, and so on, invariably obtaining lower administrative costs and consumer prices?…There is no reason to expect a Medicare-like public plan to match the administrative efficiency of Aetna, Blue Cross-Blue Shield, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group, and WellPoint. Medicare doesn’t even try. It outsources most administrative services to the private sector.”
  • “The ‘public option’ proposal was supposed to be better at estimating and containing costs. But it came in over budget…the President’s budget chief claims that 30 percent of health care could be eliminated to free up public plan dough without affecting health. In fact, data shows that the most of the variation in health care costs is a result of the undertreatment of illnesses such as diabetes. Analysis of this data by zip code suggests under treatment could be tied to being on Medicaid, another public ‘option.’ Driving millions of Americans into public plans could make matters worse…There’s a cheaper way to cover uninsured Americans and making health care more cost effective: Focus reform efforts on improving health, not finding money for the public plan.”
  • “America’s doctors and hospitals are in a precarious position. Between the continued explosion in chronic disease, dwindling reimbursement rates, and nearly 50 million Americans without health insurance, providers are being squeezed from every direction. Unfortunately, one of the leading proposals being pushed by Democrats to reform our health system would make matters even worse: a new government-run or “public” insurance plan. A perpetual challenge for all providers, be they hospitals or ambulatory physicians, is a fair reimbursement for the services they deliver. They know first-hand that current reimbursement models are broken. And a new government-run insurance plan would only exacerbate the problem.”
  • “The bill costs too much, covers too few and will cause 10 million Americans to lose the insurance they currently enjoy.”
  • “The Republicans and the right-wing conservatives oppose any kind of public option. We have to find expression for the public voice that healthcare is a basic human right….We have to understand that a strong public option is part of the struggle for a national healthcare plan in the future.”
  • “[The] preferred plan, embraced by Obama, is to throw Medicare open to everyone, and then over time force everyone into it. They say if you have employer-provided insurance, you can keep it. But that choice will be up to the employer, not you. As the government forces costly regulatory burdens, like guaranteed issue and community rating, onto private insurance, employers facing the soaring premiums will just dump their workers into Medicare. These costly regulatory burdens, plus the taxpayer subsidies for Medicare, will eventually drive out all private insurance alternatives.”
  • “….a public plan is going to have the advantages of being part of the massive federal government. That’s the whole point: that unfair competition against private health insurance from a government entity — especially via the lure of artificially low premiums — will run much of the private health industry into the ground, put them out of business.”
  • “At some point, the “public plan” might be the only health plan. No more competition. No more consumer choice. Then, there’s only government-run health care. That would be a botched procedure.”
  • “Republicans and Democrats agree that the government’s Medicare scheme for compensating doctors is deeply flawed. Yet Mr. Obama’s [public] plan for a centrally managed government insurance program exacerbates Medicare’s problems by redistributing even more income away from lower-paid primary care providers and misaligning doctors’ financial incentives.”
  • “Once private plans have been driven out of the market, people will realize that the government plan will not be able to sustain the quality and quantity of benefits they were promised. Government instead will begin to ration care and services, driving out innovation, competition and patient-centered quality.”
  • “As several studies show, if health reform includes a ‘public’ insurance plan to ‘compete’ with private insurance, it will mean the end of private insurance in America - all at once or gradually, depending on the design.”
  • “Proponents will claim the price controls in the public plan will keep costs down — though they would be hard-pressed to provide any evidence for that claim. Medicare is going bankrupt faster than AIG, and faces an unfunded liability of $84 trillion, according to the Medicare trustees. Medicare is about as good at controlling health care spending as Fannie Mae was at assessing qualified home-loan applicants.”<
  • “If enacted, the administration’s plan would represent the largest intrusion of government control into this country’s health care since Medicare and Medicaid — perhaps even larger. It is not an exaggeration to say our entire health-care system is at risk with this new plan.”
  • “It is difficult to imagine a truly level playing field that would simultaneously produce benefits from a government-run system. … Such power, if exercised in a public health option, eventually would produce a single-payer system; if that’s where the country wants to go, it should do so explicitly, not by default. If the chief advantage of a public option is to set a benchmark for private competitors, that could be achieved in other ways, for example, by providing for the entry of a public plan in case the private marketplace did not perform as expected.”
  • “President Obama supports the idea of a “public option” for health insurance. The language of competition and choice cleverly conceals the objective. But the President’s “public option” is a gateway leading to 118 million Americans losing the option of private choice. It is a strategy for government-run health care. It is a Trojan horse.”
  • “A public program won’t compete in a way that any normal business would recognize. As an entitlement, Congress’s creation will enjoy potentially unlimited access to the Treasury, without incurring the risks or hedging against losses that private carriers do. As people gravitate to “free” or heavily subsidized care, the inevitably explosive costs will be covered in part with increased outlays to keep premiums artificially low or even offer extra benefits. Lacking such taxpayer cash, private insurance rates will escalate.”
  • “[A] public plan might be advantaged by dictating to providers lower prices for health care services and products, and it might benefit from hidden subsidies. That unfair advantage could squish the private plans to the wall.”
  • “The administration and others say a government-sponsored public plan can and should compete with private plans on a level playing field. With a public plan in place, they argue, Americans would always have a guaranteed last resort. People would know it would always deal with them fairly. And it would put pressure on private plans to keep costs in check and quality high. The idea sounds attractive, but it is actually a bad idea. And federal lawmakers will find a far better alternative right under their collective nose.”
  • “The centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s health-care proposal is the “public option.” Intended to provide government insurance to those who cannot afford private coverage, the “public option” would expand existing programs like Medicare and Medicaid. Expansion of these beleaguered programs would only add to our mounting deficit.”
  • “More government bureaucrats involved in your healthcare would be destructive. Other countries with similar systems face lengthy and often deadly waiting lists… We must offer a positive alternative where healthcare becomes more accessible and of higher quality at lower cost. That is what normal markets produce…A truly modernized, intelligent health system would focus on measurably improving health outcomes for all Americans. It would be ideologically agnostic about public or private initiatives and instead seek to scale up successful programs and discard those not producing results.”
  • “With Uncle Sam picking up the tab, proponents predict health-care spending would be reduced, administrative burdens would be eliminated, and doctors would be free to practice as they wish. Do they really believe that adding another major program to the federal government would actually eliminate administrative headaches and make it easier for doctors? We need only to look to our neighbors to the north, in Canada, for a clear view of what we could expect under a single-payer system.”