I am concerned by the direction in which our country’s healthcare debate is going. It seems like every day a new politician endorses a single-payer government healthcare plan under the banner of “Medicare for all.” More recently we are hearing calls for an allegedly moderate “public option” plan; but is it better?
The simple answer: no. Instead of preserving choice, this plan would undermine the private market at the determent to patients’ care, and put us on the road to single payer. Proponents of these plans claim that they would ensure quality care for all Americans. In reality, Medicare for all and the “buy-in” option would lead to Americans losing their private insurance plans, and force us into an expensive system that would be bogged down by bureaucratic red tape.
Under these plans, more and more Americans would be pressured into the same bad government program that “Medicare for all” would provide. Even with this “moderate” option, we would end up with an inefficient, non-customizable, and expensive system of nationalized healthcare. Patients would face additional delays in care, and reduced access to wide variety of specialist. Providers, like myself, would be tied to prescribing based on a formulary that is not always supported by patient outcomes, but by costs.
If we truly want to fix our healthcare system, we need to build on what is working with our current plans and fix what isn’t. By increasing competition in the free market, we could avoid the expense, and unknowns of the above plans and ensure that all Americans can access affordable and personalized care.
Laura Smith, CNP