The Public Option and the Future of ObamaCare


Here's a preview of ObamaCare battles to come: The Huffington Post notes that a group of House Democrats have revived calls to add a government-run insurance option to ObamaCare. The push comes in the wake of the fiscal cliff deal, which killed $6 billion in funding for non-profit health insurance cooperatives. Coop funding was included in the law largely as a way to quell liberal legislators unhappy that the law didn't include a full-fledged public option — a government-run health insurance alternative that would compete with the private health insurance plans sold in the law's health exchanges.

Given that Republicans control the House, these Democrats don't have any real shot at getting the bill passed. But it's likely an early shot in what's likely to be a long battle over how to manage health policy post-ObamaCare.

As parts of ObamaCare either fail to produce results or are stripped away, piece by piece, in budget deals, we're likely to see stepped up efforts to revise the bill in a more liberal direction. At the request of the Health and Human Services Department. some health insurers, for example, are proposing additional penalties be added to the law's health insurance mandate, which they argue isn't strong enough in the law's initial years. And in Massachusetts, the passage of a statewide ObamaCare-like program presaged a massive political showdown over rate increases in 2010 and years of increasingly aggressive calls for greater cost control measures — calls which last year resulted in the creation of a what is essentially a price control commission for health care in the state.

Indeed, the public option was conceived as a starter measure intended to pave the way for further liberal reform: Jacob Hacker, who popularized the idea of a public option, has been quite clear that the goal was to set up a government-run public option that would slowly grow into a single payer system — which would make it less a public option than a government-run monopoly.

NEXT: Obama Gun Proposals Will Cost $500 Million

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Reasons why the government can’t go broke soon enough. Lack of funds is the only thing that is going to stop these trolls from destroying everything.

    1. Quantitative Easing disagrees with you, John.

      1. “Ha ha! We’ll just buy our own debt! What could go wrong?”

        Were this 300 years ago in England, Bernake would be drawn, quartered and the pieces hung at Tyburn Cross for Hig Treason – debasing His Majesty’s coinage.

        1. *High*

          (Hig treason is betraying the Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin)

  2. As parts of ObamaCare either fail to produce results or are stripped away, piece by piece, in budget deals, we’re likely to see stepped up efforts to revise the bill in a more liberal direction.

    This will be done to both the delight and consternation of the electorate, including Pinkotarians, as most of the revisions will be done at the behest of whatever medical hobby horse presents itself in the future.

    Exhibit A: The Contraception Mandate.

    Exhibit B: Gutting of “The Conscience Clause”

    Exhibit C: End running around the gun ownership protections in ObamneyCare.

  3. When they finally ruin the country, I’m going full socialist parasite. Take my libercard. Whatevs. I’m going on disability and living the good life. Roll out of bed late, wait in a line for a loaf of bread, and work on my erotic memoirs.

    1. I am right there with you. Fuck them. Sell my inflated house in Washington and move to somewhere cheap and do absolutely nothing.

  4. You know, I think I figured out the one case where force might be appropriate. There has to be a way to force people to pay for their own shit! Fuck, these people make me fucking insane with this shit.

  5. Soudns like a pretty solid plan to me dude.


Please to post comments

Comments are closed.