NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


August 18, 2009

Establishing health insurance co-operatives is a poor alternative to the public option plan.  Opponents of a government takeover of the health care system should not be fooled, says Michael D. Tanner, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute.

Government-run health care is government-run health care no matter what you call it:

  • The health care "co-op" approach now embraced by the Obama administration will still give the federal government control over one-sixth of the U.S. economy, with a government-appointed board, taxpayer funding, and with bureaucrats setting premiums, benefits, and operating rules.
  • Plus, it won't be a true co-op, like rural electrical co-ops or your local health-food store -- owned and controlled by its workers and the people who use its services.
  • Under the government plan, the members wouldn't choose its officers -- the president would.

The real issue has never been the "public option" on its own.  The issue is whether the government will take over the U.S. health care system, controlling many of our most important, personal, and private decisions.  Even without a public option, the bills in Congress would make Americans pay higher taxes and higher premiums, while government bureaucrats determine what insurance benefits they must have and, ultimately, what care they can receive, says Tanner.

ObamaCare was a bad idea with an explicit "public option."  It is still a bad idea without one, explains Tanner.

Source: Michael D. Tanner, "Co-ops: A 'Public Option' By Another Name," Cato Institute, August 17, 2009.


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