BY FRANK P. BELCASTRO
Healthcare costs are killing us. After paying more than any other country in the world, we get the 37th best coverage. That’s unacceptable. We need to change this system.
Republicans are saying that the public option is unacceptable because it will be too cheap and too efficient, so private companies cannot keep up with it. Great! Mitch McConnell literally said on Fox, “The private insurance people will not be able to compete with a government option.” Doesn’t this prove that the private insurance companies will not be able to do as good a job as the government?
Here are four indisputable reasons why the public option must be part of the healthcare proposal:
1. The government doesn’t have to advertise. No marketing budget means less costs to pass down to the consumer.
2. The government will not take a profit. That is about 10-30% of costs wiped out immediately.
3. The government will have enormous negotiating leverage with drug companies and health care providers, so they can drive down the costs to the consumer even more.
4. It is an option! If it turns out that the government option does not work as well or costs more, no problem, just use the private insurance you have now.
The insurance industry brings down costs by denying coverage to the sick; the government could do it with the public option. A no-brainer.
– Frank P. Belcastro lives in Dubuque, IA and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer