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Rep. DeFazio Introduces Legislation Establishing a Public Health Insurance Option

Mar 3, 2017
Press Release
Public Option would Lower Costs, Increase Competition among Private Insurers

Rep. Peter DeFazio (OR-04) yesterday introduced legislation, H.R. 1307, that would establish a public health insurance option in the national health insurance market.

“On Tuesday, night, we heard President Trump pledge to ‘create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down’” said Rep. DeFazio (OR-4). “Establishing a public option to compete against the private industry and give consumers more options in the market will do just that. In light of the Republicans’ push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, my legislation would create a government-run program to provide consumers another choice when shopping for affordable, accessible health care coverage.”

When the Affordable Care Act was being drafted, Rep. DeFazio fought to include a government-run insurance option to compete alongside private insurance companies. Unfortunately Republicans in the Senate blocked this provision, and it was stripped out of the bill before final passage.

A public option would allow individuals to buy a federal health care plan just as they purchase a plan from a private insurance company. This is especially important in rural areas, where many have only one insurer available. Adding a government-run insurance option would increase competition in the health insurance marketplace and drive down costs.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the inclusion of a public option administered by the federal government in the health insurance market would reduce premiums for consumers by as much as eight percent. 

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