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HomeIllinois NewsKamala Harris Admits “Medicare for All” Would Kill Private Health Insurance —...

Kamala Harris Admits “Medicare for All” Would Kill Private Health Insurance — but So Would a “Public Option”

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Beware the public option “compromise.” Michael Cannon writes:

[T]he Left is now using Medicare for All as a new stalking horse for the old stalking horse. Savvy Democrats are hoping that if Sanders whips up the base over Medicare for All, congressional Democrats will be able to pass a public option (e.g., a Medicare/Medicaid “buy-in,” or “Medicare X”) again as some sort of moderate or compromise measure.

A public option is merely a slower and more politically feasible way to achieve the destruction of private health insurance than what Sen. Harris proposes. Supporters say they merely seek a level playing field where a public option may compete with private insurance. Of course, a level playing field between government and private insurers is impossible. It has never happened. It will never happen. It cannot happen.

If you want to know how serious Democrats are about letting private insurance compete with a public option on a level playing field, look at how they are treating a free-market alternative to ObamaCare: short-term, limited duration health insurance. The Obama administration prohibited short-term plans from offering crucial consumer protections; it crippled them by unilaterally decreeing that enrollees in such plans must face medical underwriting more often than federal law requires. Democrats have decried the Trump administration’s decision to allow short-term plans to shield sick enrollees from medical underwriting, and are trying to *rescind* those consumer protections because they are not provided by the government. Senate Democrats voted to kickpatients with preexisting conditions out of their short-term plans, leaving those patients to face up to 12 months of expensive medical bills with no insurance coverage whatsoever. Illinois Democrats passed a similar law over Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R) veto. California Democrats completely banned short-term plans — and thereby gave real teeth to ObamaCare’s 10-month rationing period.

[Michael F. Cannon, “Kamala Harris Admits ‘Medicare for All’ Would Kill Private Health Insurance—but So Would a ‘Public Option’,” Cato Institute, January 31]

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