While a Medicare for All, single-payer health care system would be simpler, cheaper, and guarantee universal coverage, Biden and Democrats in competitive Senate races pitched a public option as a way to expand and improve coverage without fundamentally changing how most people get health insurance today. And the Congressional Budget Office recently reported that a robust public option could reduce premiums and save Americans big money.
So far, however, President Biden and Democrats in Congress have made little effort to follow through on the pledge, instead opting to funnel tens of billions of dollars to private health insurance companies to put people on expensive insurance exchange plans known for large out-of-pocket costs and high rates of denied claims.
Amid the leadership vacuum in Washington — and as premiums and insurance profits continue to skyrocket — state lawmakers have been frantically working to develop their own alternatives to try to help Americans combat increasingly costly medical coverage. Their efforts spotlight the challenges and opportunities for states trying to offer their citizens a public health insurance option.
While such state-level public option programs are no replacement for a national Medicare for All program, many see them as tangible and constructive health care reform for budget-strapped states barred from deficit spending.
Jesus: Hey, Dad? God: Yes, Son? Jesus: Western civilization followed me home. Can I keep it? God: Certainly not! And put it down this minute--you don't know where it's been! Tom Robbins in Another Roadside Attraction