Quite simply, Clinton has opened the door to the single-payer model—if people want it. The beauty of her plan is that no one is forced into a government plan. Americans will wind up in a Medicare-like plan only if they choose it over a private insurer.Interesting take on it. I like the idea of giving people the option. If done right -- i.e. no structural gimmicks to favor private over public plans, or vice versa -- it will be interesting to see which way the market drifts. As a private provider of health care, I like the idea that there will be no monopsony driving down the cost of my services. -- i.e. the health plans will have to compete to maintain adequate networks. As the administrator of a small business, I like the idea that I will have more options (and hopefully more affordable options) to provide my employees with health insurance.
Clinton is not alone. Last spring John Edwards unfurled a proposal that would force private insurers to compete with a public plan that he calls “Medicare-Plus.” Today, in a web-cast sponsored by the Kaiser Family Foundation, he reiterated his goal “to give consumers a choice; they could gravitate in either direction.”
One journalist on the panel was blunt: “Is this a back-door to single payer?"
Edwards liked the question. “That’s partly right and partly wrong,” he said, with a big smile. “It’s not intended to take us to single-payer. It’s designed to let Americans decide whether or not they want single payer.”
I've gone on record saying Hillary is not my candidate of choice -- I'm pulling for Obama. But more smart policies like this from her and I could definitely warm up to her in the general, if it should turn out that way.