Liberals Ought to Ditch the Public Option

An incentivized private market can cover everyone, at lower cost
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2009 11:40 AM CDT
Anna E. of New York, right, and others participate in a vigil to support a public health insurance option Wednesday Sept. 2, 2009 in New York.   (AP Photo/Tina Fineberg)
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(Newser) – Liberals need to abandon the notion that no health care reform is acceptable without a public option, former Clinton aide and health industry consultant Matt Miller writes in the Washington Post. Progressives’ top priority should be to make sure every American can access group coverage outside an employment setting, and this is our best chance to do that in a generation.

Switzerland and the Netherlands have proven that it’s possible for private insurers to cover everyone at lower cost—there, government incentives, including "risk adjustments," or subsidies for more expensive enrollees, have insurers clamoring to cover the sick. “Yes, it means that we’ll have billions of ‘health’ dollars siphoned off by middlemen and marketers,” Miller allows. “But if liberals think of it as a jobs program, they’ll learn to love it.”