It had occurred to me that if the government runs a cheaper insurance program than private companies, that most people will get the government plan. And that if the government will insure people who don’t have insurance, that private companies will stop providing that benefit to its employees. George Will has similar concerns:
The puzzle is: Why does the president, who says that were America “starting from scratch” he would favor a “single-payer” — government-run — system, insist that health-care reform include a government insurance plan that competes with private insurers? The simplest answer is that such a plan will lead to a single-payer system.
Conservatives say that a government program will have the intended consequence of crowding private insurers out of the market, encouraging employers to stop providing coverage and luring employees from private insurance to the cheaper government option.
Read the whole column. Will concludes by suggesting a way to get people medical insurance who are too poor to buy it themselves or do not have a job with medical benefits: Just give them the money to buy it. That would be far cheaper than overhauling the healthcare system for everyone.