A Case for the Public Option…Again

Dear Mr. Trump,

My name is Morris Kennedy. I am studying Animal Sciences at UC Davis, and am from a small town in Napa County, California named Calistoga. Despite not being qualified to advise you on this subject, I believe that – as an individual entering the world of premiums, deductibles, and healthcare in general – I do have at least something to offer on what is possibly one of the top topics of this entire decade: health care.

It’s not a secret that you and your Republican colleagues are very happy right now, with majorities in all branches of the government and a newfound opportunity to repeal and replace the hotly contested health care plan provided by the Affordable Care Act. But as Avik Roy, a senior at the Manhattan Institute, former health policy adviser to Mitt Romney, and fellow conservative, explains, “conservatives have been sure about what they are against — but they have never come together on what they are for.

I’m concerned that your administration doesn’t seem to have a solution for replacement, and is only concerned with just repealing. The closest thing we have is Paul Ryan’s A Better Way: Health Care, but that plan doesn’t provide any specifics. It’s more of a “shopping list than a final policy” as Washington Post writer, Danielle Allen, notes.

To establish a base level of common ground that we can’t just repeal, I urge you, being an individual of the Christian faith to consider the instance of Jesus having “healed too many to count” (Luke 4:40) and his command to ‘‘cure the sick’” (Matt. 10-7) to understand that we do in fact need a reform or replacement of Obamacare, and not just a repeal, and that the commands and actions of Jesus cannot be done without providing a meaningful replacement to the ACA.

My suggestion for replacing or reforming the ACA is that you and your administration go forward with a Public Option plan. Now, I know there are some core differences between a liberal like me and a conservative like yourself that might that make you initially dislike this. However, I believe that a Public Option plan with the right policies in mind can contain enough ideas supported from both sides of the spectrum to gain traction and eventually manifest into legislation.

At its base, a Public Option inherently contains ideas from both sides. Though it’s a public system, it is still designed to enter the free market and allow individuals choice regarding whether they may prefer public health care rather than private health care. A fundamental of the capitalist philosophy is the free market, and the Public Option incorporates that. Adding onto that, it would allow for the Great Society programs to either be severely reduced, merged into the Public Option, or be removed, as a Public Option would take over Medicare and Medicaid’s role as the current Public Option, which is a plus for you and your Republican colleagues that have constantly been talking about “reforming” Medicare. Given preexisting Democratic support for the Public Option, I don’t believe that we need to go into how this policy could generate support outside the Republican Party.

When one goes into modifying and tweaking the Public Option, it has the potential to generate even more bipartisan support. The first is to let the states generate their own systems. States’ rights are one of the things conservatives value. Injecting it into this policy will allow for the Public Option to account for distinguishing needs of each individual state as opposed to a one size fits all government plan. Allowing for an individual state to make its own system would prevent that downside from occurring.
Any objections to the idea of “big federal government” would not be an issue with this plan. There would be virtually no federal government involvement in our healthcare system, beyond possible price negotiation for states and the very popular Great Society programs. Beyond that, there could be

Sure, this may be too liberal an idea for you and your administration, but this simply acts as something to consider on top of what I’ve already suggested. With all this in mind, I believe I have made an appropriate case for a Public Option that perfectly fits within both the Republican and Democratic agenda.

I hope you keep these proposals in mind Mr. Trump.

Thank You from a Concerned Citizen,

Morris Kennedy

 

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