Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dispelling the Myths of Health Care Reform: Individual Choice – Public Option

Myth: You will no longer have a choice when it comes to your health care.
Fact: Health care reform will expand your choices, not limit them.

It is a myth that reform will force individuals out of their current insurance plan or force them to change doctors. If you are happy with your health insurance, then you are free to keep it. This reform is meant to give people more affordable options, not take options away.

For those individuals who are unhappy with their current health care or are uninsured, then the government is offering another option, the public option. Through the public option, an individual will be able to choose or select a public insurance plan. The same individual will also still be able to choose a private insurer but will now have more options to choose from.

The public plan will be a government backed insurance plan for:
  • people who do not have insurance or who are unhappy with the insurance they have, it will give them a choice, another option when they are looking to obtain health care
  • individuals who lose their jobs or whose employers do not offer coverage, it will offer affordable insurance options.
  • small businesses who will have more choices due to the opportunity to purchase health insurance through an “insurance exchange” – allowing them to choose among a multitude of plans that provide better coverage at lower costs than they could find in the current small group market.
The public option will not be an option for employers who are already providing health care for their employees. These employers will not be able to move their employees into the public option. However, they will see their costs go down because of the added competition and benchmarks that the public option will bring to the market.

The public insurance plan would compete directly with private insurers within a new national insurance exchange. Through that competition, costs will be reduced and there will be a drive for advancement and innovation. The public option gives us all more choices and more opportunities to be able to afford quality health care.

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