The Dangers of a Government Run Plan (Public Option)

Exacerbate the Hidden Tax on Individuals and Families: In the current
system, individuals and families pay a hidden tax of more than $1,500 on their
premiums to offset underpayments to providers from Medicare and Medicaid. A
new government-run program would exacerbate the underfunding of providers
and leave fewer people with private coverage to offset this growing cost-shift.

• Add additional liabilities on the federal budget: Low provider reimbursements
from Medicare and Medicaid are currently offset by employers, individuals and
families who pay a hidden tax to cover the cost-shift. A new government-run
plan would drive out private coverage, leaving hundreds of billions of dollars in
new liabilities that would have to be added to the federal budget to avoid
bankrupting hospitals across the country.

• Patients’ Choices of and Access to Health Care Will Suffer: Many Medicare
beneficiaries today have trouble locating a primary care physician that will
accept new Medicare patients. Enrollees in the government-run health plan
would experience similar difficulties in locating a participating physician who is
taking on new patients or long wait times before a patient could visit a doctor.

• Turning Back the Clock on Quality, Care Coordination, and Disease
Management: Health plans have pioneered programs to improve the quality
and affordability of health care coverage, such as developing provider
networks, implementing tiered drug formularies, pursuing administrative
simplification projects, managing treatment for patients with chronic
conditions, and implementing pay-for-performance initiatives. The Medicare
program, meanwhile, has had virtually zero innovation since its inception
nearly 45 years ago and programs to implement health plan initiatives into the
Medicare fee-for-service program have been largely unsuccessful. A new
government-run plan would turn-back-the-clock on more than forty years of
health care innovation.