‘Public Option’ Being Reintroduced Into Obamacare In 2016

The “public option,” which was a major tenet of Obamacare back in 2010 before the healthcare reform act was passed, is now being weighed as a more viable option in today’s modern political environment following the revolution that Bernie Sanders put in place. Even Hillary Clinton has signed back on to the public option and calls for it to be reinstated into Obamacare in her 2016 campaign platform.

Now that the uninsured rate has dropped so dramatically following the implementation of Obamacare, or the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama has taken some time to reflect on his signature legislation and called for an improvement to make the uninsured rate drop even lower. Obama recently published an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association and laid down some lengthy arguments in favor of Obamacare and adding the public option back into the legislation to drop, or even eliminate, the uninsured rate.

One thing to consider now is that the uninsured rate has dropped since the implementation of Obamacare, quite dramatically to be precise. So much so that it proves that Obamacare is not only working but exceeding expectations and giving people more rewarding lives and better health options.

“The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) has made significant progress toward solving long-standing challenges facing the US health care system related to access, affordability, and quality of care,” Obama wrote in his op-ed on the Journal of the American Medical Association website. “Since the Affordable Care Act became law, the uninsured rate has declined by 43%, from 16.0% in 2010 to 9.1% in 2015, primarily because of the law’s reforms. Research has documented accompanying improvements in access to care (for example, an estimated reduction in the share of nonelderly adults unable to afford care of 5.5 percentage points), financial security (for example, an estimated reduction in debts sent to collection of $600-$1000 per person gaining Medicaid coverage), and health (for example, an estimated reduction in the share of nonelderly adults reporting fair or poor health of 3.4 percentage points).”

At this point, the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) can be deemed an overwhelming success and has proven to have far-reaching results across the country for people who suffer without medical insurance. But there are still 35 million Americans who cannot afford medical insurance from the marketplace, and that is where the public option is coming back into play.

“Policy makers should build on progress made by the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by continuing to implement the Health Insurance Marketplaces and delivery system reform, increasing federal financial assistance for Marketplace enrollees, introducing a public plan option in areas lacking individual market competition, and taking actions to reduce prescription drug costs,” Obama wrote in his op-ed.

One thing that Obama did touch on while discussing the public option in Obamacare is that partisanship will have to be achieved, even in the face of adversity that so routinely derails the actions of the left by demonizing government subsidies for healthcare and lobbying to make sure that the Public Option never sees the light of day again. These same special interest groups also lobby politicians and SuperPACS to continuously fight to overturn Obamacare and return to a system that inherently favors the middle and upper class.

“The health care system [in 2008] also fell short on quality of care, too often failing to keep patients safe, waiting to treat patients when they were sick rather than focusing on keeping them healthy, and delivering fragmented, poorly coordinated care,” Obama wrote.

Now that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has officially endorsed the public option plan moving forward with domestic policy, there is a real shot at getting the public option reintroduced back into Obamacare and potentially giving everyone in the U.S. access to healthcare, regardless of their financial status.

[Photo by Mike Theiler-Pool/Getty Images]