The last thing West Virginians need is for the federal government to take over any more of our health care. Yet that is exactly what a new proposal from Senators Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) would do.
Their latest bill would create a new public option program known as the Medicare Exchange (Medicare-X) Health Plan. Just like previous public option schemes, Medicare-X could be a disaster for working families while actually reducing — not expanding — access to care.
One study suggests that a new, government-controlled health insurance system like the public option could come at a cost of nearly $1.4 trillion during an economic crisis, which would inevitably fall on the shoulders of working families. In fact, it could force families to pay an additional $2,833 in health care costs per year by 2050.
Unsurprisingly, this is not how most Americans want lawmakers to solve the health care problems we face as a nation. Nearly 7 out of 10 Americans would prefer to improve upon our current healthcare system rather than trying to reinvent the wheel with the public option, which only 31 percent of Americans support.
Our members of Congress should work together — in a bipartisan, collaborative fashion — to address the problems in our current health care system so it works better for all Americans. That does not require putting the government in control of our health care decisions.
West Virginia House of Delegates