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5 Things you need to know about Obama’s Public Health Insurance Option

The choice of a public health insurance plan is crucial to real health care reform. But right now, it’s being smeared by conservatives and insurance-industry front groups. Here’s what you really need to know:

1. Choice, choice, choice. If the public health insurance option passes, Americans will be able to choose between their current insurance and a high-quality, government-run plan similar to Medicare. If you like your current care, you can keep it. If you don’t—or don’t have any—you can get the public insurance plan.

2. It will be high-quality coverage with a choice of doctors. Government-run plans have a track record of innovating to improve quality, because they’re not just focused on short-term profits. And if you choose the public plan, you’ll still get to choose your doctor and hospital.

3. We’ll all save a bunch of money. The public health insurance option won’t have to spend money on things like CEO bonuses, shareholder dividends, or excessive advertising, so it’ll cost a lot less. Plus, the private plans will have to lower their rates and provide better value to compete, so people who keep their current insurance will save, too.

4. It will always be there for you and your family. A for-profit insurer can close, move out of the area, or just kick you off their insurance rolls. The public health insurance option will always be available to provide you with the health security you need.

5. And it’s a key part of universal health care. No longer will sick people or folks in rural communities, or low-income Americans be forced to go without coverage. The public health insurance plan will be available and accessible to everyone. And for those struggling to make ends meet, the premiums will be subsidized by the government.

We all need to speak out to make sure we get real health reform. Please pass this message on, then call your senators and ask them to support the choice of a public health insurance plan.


2 thoughts on “5 Things you need to know about Obama’s Public Health Insurance Option

  1. George says:

    I have been enrolled in and used TriCare Prime for more than twenty years (A Federal Health Insurance Program for both Active Duty and Retired Military).

    Imagine that most active duty military and their family members are insured for health care as opposed to just going to a military health care clinic on base facility.

    My cost per year is $468 for both Charlene an myself. Co-pay for my primary care doctor (a private practice facility) is $12 per visit. Co-pay for Rx generic medications is $3, non-generic is $9. My cancer surgery and one day hospital care cost was reduced to $70K and TriCare Prime paid 100% of this contracted rate. I believe the total cost would have exceeded $125K. My co-pay for this care was $30. TriCare Prime in our area is managed by Humana Health South.

    One of the cost-cutting and contract methods of keeping the costs down is a monthly bill for an oxygen generator submitted by a home-health equipment service for $480 which TriCare Prime reduces by contract to $135 (which is still damn high), co-pay is $39.

    This system is in place and could easily absorb or offer service to the public at a higher subscription or annual insurance fee cost per family and still be very affordable.

    With the exception of a denial for out-of-state specialty cancer care for my rare cancer and later appealed and approved, they have been very transparent, easy to call and communicate with, clear and simple handbook with extensive listing of approved and non-approved procedures, and explanation of how to receive approval for specific high costs appliances and devices that most insurance companies are paying far too much for in general. Overall, this is a solution that would cost no more to expand.

    Socialized medicine, I don’t think so. It has been fine for our military for decades both under CHAMPUS and not TriCare and TriCare Prime. Also they offer a TriCare For Life once you are Medicare eligible which is a secondary coverage to seniors for those items not fully covered by Medicare.

    My total cost was giving 21 years of my life to the military for a promise back then of life-time health care, which Congress withdrew right after Vietnam service members returned home.

  2. George says:

    Mean to say.

    It has been fine for our military for decades both under CHAMPUS and NOW TriCare and TriCare Prime.


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