Yet another incarnation of a health care reform plan was introduced in Congress on Monday, a plan Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he will not support. The new plan was authored by Senate Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada, and includes a so-called public option. Grassley, a Republican, says the public option is not an option.
“It’d be very difficult for me to support any public option, which is another word for a government-run health care plan, or another new entitlement on top of Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, which are already bankrupt,” Grassley says. “Can we afford any more entitlements?” Reid says his plan would offer states the chance to opt in or opt out of the program, but Grassley says it’s still a losing proposition.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s opt in, opt out or some kind of trigger, you still get back to the basic fact it’s a government-run plan that will undermine the market,” Grassley says. “There are close to 200-million people already in private health insurance and (the Democrats) are trying to disguise it.”
The latest plan would start offering people the option of buying private insurance or the government-run plan by 2013, but Grassley says it will only bring trouble. “This would be bad for doctors, hospitals and especially (patients),” Grassley says. “I think it’s pretty clear that any government-run plan will act as a competitor, a regulator and eventually a tax-supported funder and will ultimately force private insurers out of business.”
He says such a plan would ultimately lead to the government running everything, hospitals and doctors’ offices would close their doors, and employers would drop insurance. Grassley says that would bring a full government take-over with eventual rationing and delay or denial of care. He says it would be better to focus on cleaning up the current marketplace, bringing stronger rules and regulations for private health plans.