Article from The Center for Rural Affairs.
The inclusion of a public health insurance plan in health care reform legislation as an option for individuals, families, and businesses promises to be one of the most controversial and crucial decisions made by Congress. With the myriad health care challenges facing rural people and rural communities, the decision on whether to include a public health insurance plan option has significant consequences for rural America. In fact, rural America has much to gain or lose from the public health insurance plan decision.
Here are some key points:
A public health insurance plan available as an option for individuals, families, and businesses helps address the rural risk factors leading to rural insurance instability and would act as a backup for all of the rural factors leading to greater insurance instability. Further, it would act as a check on private insurance plans, keeping private coverage honest in ways that benefit individuals, families and businesses.
To be truly beneficial to rural people and businesses, any public health insurance plan option must contain several provisions. Those are outlined in more detail in Why Rural America Needs a Public Health Insurance Option. Among the most important is equity to rural areas by providing rural provider reimbursement rates that have less disparity than exist under current public programs such as Medicare.
The enhanced coverage and lower costs a public health insurance plan could bring to rural people are of little consolation if rural providers are unable to provide services to public plan consumers because reimbursement rates are too low. A public health insurance plan – for all the benefits it could bring to rural areas – should not aggravate the problem of access. Health care reform should not seek to contain costs on the backs of rural people and rural providers.My take on this article is that it has some good points to it, but the public as a whole will not accept a public option. Rural Americans are the ones who are hit the hardest when it comes to healthcare. My own mother has health insurance provided by her employer, but she still has to pay a $1,000 deductable out of her own pocket. That is just wrong. And it only provides vision & dental & nothing else. Can you believe that. President Obama has not done a great job, nor members of congress has done a great job of explaining this huge, complex issue. But I agree that reform is needed.