The wrong option

Dear Editor:

The ongoing pandemic has clearly demonstrated the importance of quality, affordable health care, not just for the elderly or those with pre-existing conditions. It is critical that all Mainers have the opportunity to access health coverage options that meet their unique needs and those of their families. However, a new system being discussed in Washington, called the “public option,” would not only fail to achieve its intended goal of increasing access to care, but it could also reduce Mainers’ ability to choose the health care plan that is right for them. 

Recent studies have shown that over the first 10 years of a plan like the public option, approximately 2 million Americans with private coverage could be forced off their existing plans as insurance companies leave the marketplace altogether. This would leave far too many Mainers without the individualized coverage they rely on, with only a government-controlled, one-size-fits-all system remaining. 

Alongside fewer choices in coverage and a lack of private insurers in the marketplace, a recent study shows that Mainers can expect to pay several thousand dollars more in taxes in order to cover the costs of a new government-run public option system. 

All Mainers deserve access to high-quality, affordable health care, as well as the ability to decide which plan best suits their unique health care needs. Our health care system needs improvement but creating a new government-controlled health care system will lead to higher costs and worse care.

Jacob Ireland


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