RAND Corporation recently published a research brief modeling the impact of a public option for health insurance. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Unsubsidized individual enrollment fell from 6.3 million in 2016 to 3.8 million in 2018.
    •   Across 4 public option scenarios, 5.1-12.1 million people would be better off.
    •   An estimated 2.2 to 6.8 million people would be worse off with a public option.
    •   Federal spending on tax credits would fall from $7-$24 billion with a public option.

Source: RAND Corporation, May 26, 2020

 

Any time you sit on a seesaw, one side goes down and the other side goes up. Of course, the RAND Corporation’s research illustrates that with a public option, a portion will do better and a portion will not.

Our country is made up of 330 million different people.  And one day, a public option will be better for somebody and the next day it won’t be better for the same person.  And therefore, what our country needs to do is to stop playing around with the asinine statement of a public option, Medicare for All, or how about Medicare for none?  Because guess what, there’s a lot of waste and abuse in Medicare.  When you talk about a public option, who is going to run it, the federal government?  The same people who don’t run Medicare properly.

I don’t care if it’s $2.2-6.8 or $5.8-12 million, it makes no difference. The right is going to want what the right wants, and the left is going to want what the left wants.  Everyone will be in disarray.

There is a better option.  That is to take the best of free market and have the government back it up with stop loss coverage to allow for individualized choice.

This is not rocket science, but everyone wants to make it sound like it is.

When you put some pragmatic and simple approaches into play, the rest will fall in line.  Simple fixes, such as telehealth and reducing the egregious cost of pharmacy benefits.  CVS just got sued by the Blues for inflating what we thought they wouldn’t inflate.  Forty-six states accused drugmakers of price collusion after a 6-year investigation.[1] Everyone’s dipping their hand in the pot.  It needs to stop. In the words of the Beatles, how do we “come together…right now”?

[1] David McLaughlin and Riley Griffin, “46 states accuse drugmakers of price collusion in latest lawsuit,” BenefitsPro, 12 June 2020, https://www.benefitspro.com/2020/06/12/46-states-accuse-drugmakers-of-price-collusion-in-latest-lawsuit

 

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

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