The Public Health Insurance Option

Armen Hareyan's picture

Now that Congress is considering a Public Insurance Option for health care, I hope anyone who cares about the cost of medical care will get behind it. Yes, the AMA, to which only 12% of doctors belong, the Chamber of Congress that represents big business, health insurance and drug companies are against such a plan.

This is very easy to understand when all of these are made up of individuals who have good health insurance and are more concerned about their pocketbooks than the forty-seven million people in the U.S. who have no health insurance.

I have heard Republican members of Congress say on the news that they are afraid a public plan would push the health insurance companies out of business. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? One Republican Senator even said that health insurance companies had lower administrative costs than public plans.


That is simply not true.

The administrative costs of private health insurance companies are more than 30%, whereas the Medicare costs are about half that. Dr. Robert LeBow in Health Care Meltdown noted that if we could cut our health care administrative costs in half, we could save $200 billion dollars. (This is based on 2002 statistics and the savings would be even more today.)

Therefore, we all need to get behind President Obama and speak out for a public health insurance plan.

By Charlotte E. Thompson, M.D.