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Meet the New Public Option, Same As the Old Public Option



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Meet H.R. 261, the “Public Option Deficit Reduction Act,” which would “amend the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to establish a public health insurance option.”

TPM reports the move thus:

The public option is back … sort of.

House Democrats on Tuesday introduced the “Public Option Deficit Reduction Act,” which would provide consumers the choice to opt into a government-run health insurance plan in the Obamacare exchanges.

The bill, which almost certainly cannot pass in the Republican-controlled House, is a mostly symbolic effort meant to keep the public option alive as a policy prescription. It is sponsored by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), who is on the Energy & Commerce health subcommittee, along with Energy & Commerce Ranking Member Henry Waxman (D-CA) and 43 other lawmakers.

“The Public Option Deficit Reduction Act will give health care consumers more choice and lower their premiums,” said Schakowsky. “And, by providing a lower-cost alternative to private insurance, it would put pressure on all insurers to lower their premiums in order to compete.”

Well, that and establishing a national public health-insurance provider that would segue nicely into single payer, sure. The proposal must remain symbolic.



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