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A Public Option Would Leave Millions Uninsured, Not Garner Savings

Medicare for All Would Cover Everyone, Save Money and End Medical Debt

As discussion of the need for an overhaul of the health care system reaches a fevered pitch, politicians are producing their own solutions. However, it’s easy to lose sight of what each plan would do for people’s health, the economy and the budget.

So Public Citizen is laying out the differences between Medicare for All and public option and buy-in programs. This new fact sheet details why a public option would not achieve the goal of providing care to everyone or control skyrocketing health care costs.

A public option would:

  • Leave millions uninsured or underinsured and subject to unnecessary out-of-pocket costs, including copays and deductibles;
  • Leave more than 100 million Americans at the whim of private for-profit insurance corporations, so they would be under constant fear of disruption when their employer changes plans or they lose or change jobs;
  • Force employers to continue to struggle with whether they can afford to provide insurance to their employees; and
  • Enable for-profit insurers to cherry-pick healthier Americans, threatening the financial solvency of the public programs.

However, Medicare for All would:

  • Provide access to home and community-based care for all who need it;
  • End medical debt and medical bankruptcies;
  • Reduce administrative waste by $500 billion per year;
  • End price gouging by pharmaceutical companies; and
  • Put an end to corporations profiting off the sick.

About two-thirds of Medicare for All funding would come from taking public spending streams for health care programs and funneling them to Medicare for All. Some additional taxes would be needed to pay for Medicare for All, but most Americans would spend LESS on health care than they do right now.

For more than 45 years, Public Citizen has called for legislation that would guarantee health care for all. To speak with a Medicare for All policy expert, or if you have questions about the fact sheet, please contact Mike Stankiewicz at mstankiewicz@citizen.org, or (202) 588-7779.