President Barack Obama and former top Obamacare official Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel are now floating the idea of a public option as an answer to the seemingly inevitable collapse of Obama’s landmark health care legislation.
Obamacare has seen better days: It’s had 16 health care co-ops go kaput, including in New York, some major health care providers are pulling out, andanalysts have almost nothing rosy to say about the legislation in both the near and long term. As a result, Obama and his surrogates are scrambling to shore up the sinking ship.
For his part, Emanuel wrote a piece for the Washington Post Aug. 22 in which he acknowledged there were problems with Obamacare and provided a five-prong solution to fixing them. Most important of these solutions, a public option to the healthcare exchanges. He says that “we should consider a public option,” because “consumers should never be subject to the whims of insurer withdrawals or withdrawal threats.”
Emanuel’s sentiment was an echo of Obama’s own words in an Aug. 2 piece for the Journal of the American Medical Association. He said the path to continued progress is through “continuing to implement the Health Insurance Marketplaces and delivery system reform, increasing federal financial assistance for Marketplace enrollees,” and by “introducing a public plan option in areas lacking individual market competition.”