Hatch to Dems: ‘Public Option’ Won’t Rescue Obamacare

In response to the continuing failures of their healthcare reform law, many Democrats are advocating for the so-called “public option” as the cure for Obamacare’s ills. But Sen. Orrin Hatch says there’s a reason that idea wasn’t included in their original plan: “it simply doesn’t work.”

Writes Hatch in an op-ed at USA Today:

For middle-class families with Obamacare, summer 2016 was plagued with headline headscratchers as they learned costs would be going up and choices would be going down.

Today, as the fourth enrollment season nears, the news is not getting any better. And despite repeated promises from President Obama that healthcare costs would decline, the law looks to wield even more negative financial consequences on middle-class Americans. In fact, since 2007, spending on healthcare for middle-class families has increased by nearly 25 percent.

This dire reality is Obamacare’s past, present and future; and it is rooted in the law’s fundamental failure to tackle costs and embrace the competition and transparency principles that Republicans have long championed.

Yet, despite the maze of federal rules, taxes and penalties Obamacare created for the private health insurance market, Democrats are doubling down on government interference in healthcare once again. This time, by advocating for an old, already passed-upon idea: a government-run plan option, or a so-called “public option.”

But what they forget is why this idea was not included in their original plan: it simply doesn’t work.

In a health system that values innovation, choice, first rate care and groundbreaking treatments for patients, market forces must be at play to drive efficiency and effectiveness from not only hospitals and doctors, but insurers as well.

A government-run plan counters these pillars of our system and instead only perpetuates more of Obamacare’s failed policies that have stifled competition and hiked prices for American families.