Letter: Private insurance failed, public option needed

In Iowa, there were three companies offering health care insurance policies in the insurance marketplace. Two have dropped out and the third one wants changes or it will too.

In our quest to provide affordable health care for all, it’s clear that private insurance wasn’t able to do the job. We tried. The idea of a competitive market place was a Republican idea to harness market forces and free market competition. It didn’t work.

What has been shown to work is a public option like Medicare for all. Many countries around the world have switched to this “single payer” model. You can find anecdotal stories of long wait times or poor care, but you can find many of those same stories in our private health care system.

And I don’t see countries switching from public health care back to private. It must work well.

This is the same model we use for fire protection, police, municipal infrastructure, and military. Not everything should be private. If I call the fire department for my house on fire, I don’t want the dispatcher to wait while they check to see if I’m up to date on my “monthly fire and rescue subscription fee.”

If I have a broken leg, heart attack or auto accident, I’m not going to ”shop” for the lowest price. This is not an elective procedure like LASIK eye sight improvement.

We tried the free market approach; didn’t work. It’s time for what does work; the public option.

Marc Franke


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