A recent report on the Heritage Foundation Web site predicts that a government health-care “reform” plan with a public option would lead, in fact, to a government takeover of the country’s health-care system. Here’s a graphic depicting this:
The argument is that these projections would mean that the federal government would have much greater power in the health-care market to the extent that it would basically be able to dictate everything from physician reimbursement rates to most of what health-insurance companies charge and provide. This is despite President Obama’s following claim in his speech to a joint session of Congress last month attempting to refute the argument that a public option would lead to a government takeover of health care:
… an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance.
While such a bill would not on its face immediately lead to a government takeover of health care, the unintended consequences resulting from it would. However, whether public-option proponents would view these consequences to be unintended or not is highly questionable.