The Obama administration’s health care proposal has both enticed and angered a number of American citizens across the country. With town-hall meetings erupting into violent spats between supporters and opponents, it’s no surprise the Obama administration would reconsider portions of the proposal.
During a debate in Monday, the focal point of the debate was whether the U.S. government will extend a pubic insurance option.
During the beginning stages of the reformation of the health care industry, the administration was adamant on public option, however, is seemed the administration has backed down from its original stance saying it is “not the entirety of health care reform.”
Robert Gibbs, Obama’s spokesman, said the president could be “satisfied” without it. Kathleen Sebelius of Health and Human Services said the public insurance plan is “not the essential element,” reports CNN.
Republican critics have repeatedly slammed the notion of government playing such a hefty role in the health care industry. In sharp contrast, however, supporters believe “public option” is vital.
Howard Dean, a former physician and one-time Democratic presidential candidate said public option “is the entirety of health care reform; it’s not the entirety of insurance reform.”
A petition on his Web site StandWithDrDean.com reads, “A public option is the only way to guarantee health care for all Americans and its inclusion is non-negotiable.”
Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota spoke candidly about public option and said the bill would not make it through congress.
“The fact of the matter is there are not the votes in the United States Senate for a public option. There never have been,” Conrad said.
Meanwhile, Democrats believe doing away with a public insurance option defeats the purpose of reformation.
“It would be very, very difficult,” Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas said.
“Because without the public option, we’ll have the same number of people uninsured. If the insurance companies wanted to insure these people now, they’d be insured.”
She added that “an option that would give the private insurance companies a little competition” is “the only way” to be sure that insurance is available to low-income people and people without employer-provided coverage.
Critics say that government insurance options would wash out private insurance companies who wold not be able to compete with government prices. As result of an uneven playing field, the government would have a great deal of control over the health care industry.
“We have the best health care system in the world,” Republican Sen. Richard Shelby of Alabama told “FOX News Sunday.” “We need to expand it. We do not need to destroy it.”
“I think that we can craft a system in which you’ve got a public option that has to operate independently, not subsidized by taxpayers — it would be nonprofit … they would have to go on the market and get a market price for capital,” Obama said in Grand Junction, Colorado.
He added, “I think there are ways that we can address those competitive issues.”
The debate has moved forward in public and private ways despite Congress being in recess.