Seems like old times! Bernie Sanders today announced that he will introduce legislation calling for the ‘public option’ for health care in the wake of Aetna exiting the Obamacare marketplace earlier this week.
The public option allows choice of health plans
The public option would allow all Americans access to health care. It is a close relative of the single-payer health care system that has long been a dream of progressives. Under the single-payer plan, a government entity would set the rules governing health care in the country and would pay all the costs.
Under the public option, individuals and employers are given the option of picking Medicare for their coverage or choosing a traditional private insurance plan. Everyone would have to choose one or the other. Having no health insurance would not be an option.
Just what version of the ‘public option’ would be best was a hotly contested issue during the primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Under pressure from Sander’s supporter, Mrs. Clinton embraced a ‘public option’ late in the campaign that was closer to Sanders’s version.
Sanders is passionate about healthcare
The ‘public option’ was part of the original language of the Affordable Care Act but was dropped due to objections of moderate Democrats. If Clinton wins the White House and the Democrats regain control of the Senate, Sanders has indicated that he wants to become Chair of the powerful Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, which would put Bernie back in the spotlight on an issue that he’s passionate about.