Hillary Clinton backs public option for Obamacare | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hillary Clinton backs public option for Obamacare

Posted By on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 at 5:26 PM

Politico reports:

Hillary Clinton wants to bring back the public option, offering a competing vision to Bernie Sanders’ support for a more progressive health care system.

Clinton's campaign has updated its website to note her continued support for the government-run health plan that was dropped from Obamacare during the law's drafting. The idea was popular among progressives who prefer a single-payer plan — like the one Bernie Sanders is touting.

Clinton supported a public option during her 2008 presidential campaign and during the fight to pass Obamacare, but the idea was scrapped when Blue Dog Democrats in Congress objected (you might remember a few familiar names) and Clinton hasn't made much mention of the idea in this campaign. Could that be changing? It seems like an obvious play given the leftward tilt of Democratic primary voters this year. And it remains popular nationally. 

The "public option" concept would create a government-run health insurance agency, which would offer plans alongside the private health insurance companies on the Obamacare exchanges. Among the ideas floated were plans that would parallel Medicare in terms of reimbursement rates for providers. 

Here's the update to Clinton's website, apparently made in the last week: 

Continue to support a “public option”—and work to build on the Affordable Care Act to make it possible. As she did in her 2008 campaign health plan, and consistently since then, Hillary supports a “public option” to reduce costs and broaden the choices of insurance coverage for every American. To make immediate progress toward that goal, Hillary will work with interested governors, using current flexibility under the Affordable Care Act, to empower states to establish a public option choice.

What Clinton is suggesting here is that she favors a public option choice for consumers on the Obamacare exchanges, but realizes this is a total impossibility to get through the GOP-controlled Congress. So instead, it sounds like she's hoping to use a waiver provision in Obamacare, known as 1332 waivers, to try to push individual states toward adding a public option. It's not a terrible strategy — if the public option in a swath of states was effective in reducing costs and increasing consumer choice, the policy could spread and eventually build pressure for a similar policy nationally. At the very least, it would be an avenue for reform in the states. While 1332 waivers are often associated with potential conservative policy shifts in states like Arkansas, they are also an avenue for progressive change. 

Of course it's not like a theoretical President Bernie Sanders would oppose Democratic governors using 1332 waivers to add the public option. This is more symbolic than it is news of any policy shift, but it signals that Clinton is aiming to reach out to the left on health care, even if she isn't backing a total do-over for single payer. 

Tags: , , , ,

Sign up for the Daily Update email

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by David Ramsey

Readers also liked…

  • Women's March planned in Arkansas to mark Trump inauguration

    Speaking of Donald Trump and in answer to a reader's question: There will be a women's march in Arkansas on Jan. 21, the day after inauguration, as well as the national march planned in Washington.
    • Dec 30, 2016
  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • Campus gun bill clears committee

    The so-called compromise amendment that will allow anyone 25 or older with a training certificate carry a concealed weapon on public college campuses was approved in a Senate committee this afternoon.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation