- The Progressive Pulse - http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org -

How, exactly, would a government health care option lead to a government health care takeover?

[1]This is the big talking point of Republicans these days — that somehow reforms that offer a public option will lead to a government takeover of health care.

The proposed Blue Cross commercials, for example, fail to explain that Democrats are only proposing a public plan alongside existing private insurance plans. This isn’t a federal takeover, it’s just more competition.

Conservatives and commercial insurance companies should be happy about a public plan. It will offer more consumer choice. And during the debate on children’s health insurance Sen. Richard Burr said on the Senate floor that government health care is more expensive for consumers and provides less coverage than private plans. Great.

This is the chance for private insurers to pit their products directly against a government plan. Obviously, no one will want to join the big, bloated, bureaucratic, expensive government option that will require long waits. Blue Cross will look like champions next to such a plan.

But I think we all know what worries private insurers. Everyone who lives in North Carolina either has or knows someone who has Medicare. And everyone in North Carolina either has or knows someone who has Blue Cross. I’ve heard many people demand “Medicare for all.” I have yet to hear anyone rally around the slogan “Blue Cross for all.”