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Liberal Democracy

Liberal Democracy
The Free State

Friday, August 24, 2012

FRSFreeStatePlus: CNBC: Representative Paul Ryan talks Healthcare Reform with Howard Dean and John Sheils From 2009: What a Public Option Should Be



Back in July 2009, former DNC Chairman Howard Dean was debating Healthcare Reform with Representative Paul Ryan. Who was then the Ranking Member of the Budget Committee not Chairman, when the House Republicans were still in the minority. And Representative Ryan was actually making the case for why a Public Option would be a good idea in Healthcare Reform. He was literally arguing that this would make people want to choose the Public Option over their private Health Insurer and that. Private Health Insurers wouldn't be able to compete with the Public Option, because the Public Option would deliver Health Insurance at a lower cost. He was arguing that the private Health Insurers wouldn't be able to compete with the way they currently do business and a Public Option would force them out of business. One of the reasons for a Public Option is not to force private Health Insurers out of business, which is what Progressives want. But along with the Patient Bill of Rights is to force them to change their business model. To deliver better Customer Service, one through competition through private Non Profit Health Insurers but also through regulation.

One of the beauties of a Public Option, is that its exactly that a choice, its not forcing people onto Medicare. Whether they want it or not or outlawing the private Health Insurance Industry but giving more Americans including people who can't currently afford Health Insurance. The ability to decide for themselves where to get their Health Insurance or be able to keep their current Health Insurance. Unlike Medicare For All Single Payer which would require everyone in the country to be on Medicare, whether they want it or not, they would no longer be able to make that. Decision for themselves and a Public Option could be done in a way where you wouldn't have to grow the Federal Government but allow the States to set up their own Medicare Public Option plan. Progressive Democrats in Congress have introduce a Single Payer plan, led by Representative Jim McDermott that would allow the States to set up their own Medicare plans as well.

Three years ago Representative Ryan was making the case and I'm sure he did this unintentionally, of why a Public Option. Would be a good idea, because it would force private Health Insurers to change their business model or go out of business. Which is the whole point of a Public Option to bring much needed competition to a bad private Health Insurance System, which is what we need.