The Corner

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

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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