Public Option Vs. Single Payer

Here is a Long In-Depth Essay on Why the ACA (ObamaCare) Didn’t Include a Public Option

The ACA (ObamaCare) didn’t include a Public Option because Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, a former Nebraska insurance commissioner, refused to vote for any bill with a public option.

According to John McDonough, a key Senate staffer in Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office during the health care debate in 2009 and 2010, Nelson was vote number 60 for the ACA, and the ACA needed 60 votes to pass.

So a bill with a public option could not get through the Senate despite huge lobbying by progressive groups.

Luckily, politicians like Sanders and Obama helped to “save” a backdoor for the public option by including provision 1332 which allows for state-based solutions.

Progressives knew their Single Payer was going to get cut, and they sucked this up for expanded coverage like Medicaid expansion, but there was no good reason for cutting the public option.

Ex-Sen. Nelson is not “a good reason”, that isn’t policy, that is politics (that is values masquerading as debates about facts, numbers, and data; one can’t cure polio with “small government” and “liberty”, those are concepts, not cures).

Putting ideology before healthcare isn’t the same as working for the American people. Politicians Cornhusk-ing each other in the backroom (and not even effectively) isn’t the same as ensuring a hardworking family has access to affordable care. Debating single payer vs. anarchy and a flat-tax isn’t the same as working together to solve a problem.

Ok, well, actually that only took a few sentences to explain and complain.

Turns out there isn’t anything that complex about denying our citizens a public option for the past decade while Republicans try to Break RomneyCare 2.0 the Public-option-less version.

Sure, Ben Nelson is a Conservative Democrat, not a Solid South Republican or Tea Party Republican, but the ends are the same. The ends are “less healthcare” “because ideology”. He may as well have been a Republican in this case, although I wonder if a Romney Republican would have been more helpful?

Look, I support what ObamaCare got right, but the theatre and the specifics are much more lambast-able.

Moving forward Republicans have a chance to make good on their past (let us not forget they also didn’t vote for the law and have obstructed it) by including a public option in their upcoming repair plan.

If not, many will be moving toward this at a state level, showing that not only does a public-buy-in option + HSA work, but it is the next best step for healthcare and state and federal budgets.

So is the lesson “don’t write a bill to placate one Republican from Nebraska?” Or is the lesson, “don’t use our citizens’ healthcare as collateral in political games?”

Honestly, let us not get sidetracked by the lessons here, let us instead work on ensuring a healthcare system that works for all Americans. And, if that is the goal, why not include a public option that, you know, could be run by private non-profits and of which the profits could go toward paying back our crushing Treasury debt.

I know, I know, I’m being fiscally conservative, and no party or faction is fiscally conservative these days… it is awkward to be a party of one, but I do think one of these days at least one member of Congress might decide to redefine conservative as the fiscal kind instead of the social kind and embrace this idea.

I mean, I love social States’ Rights conservatism as much as the next guy, and I know the abolish the IRS argument always wins the day, but hey, you know, maybe we try something crazy in this next cycle like a public option and paying back the Treasury rather than breaking it.

What do you think?

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