Friday, July 24, 2009 | 2:04 a.m.
One of the biggest arguments against a public health plan option is the following: I want to choose my own doctor, and I don’t want a government bureaucrat making that decision.
But today, under our private health plans, your only choice is to pick a doctor who has negotiated costs with your carrier. Doctors who refuse to negotiate are excluded.
Another argument goes like this: I want my doctor to decide what type of test should be run instead of a government bureaucrat.
Today, however, a large number of tests recommended by doctors have to be preapproved by your insurance carrier. A private bureaucrat makes the decisions. Most likely that private bureaucrat will consider the profit motive.
When it comes to treatments, a private bureaucrat makes the decision whether your insurance covers such treatment. If this bureaucrat decides a cheaper treatment is just as effective, your carrier declines to pay for the treatment your doctor recommended.
Now consider this: Should you, for whatever reason, lose your coverage — you get laid off, your employer can no longer afford the premiums — and you have a preexisting condition, what are the chances of getting coverage from another company? In today’s market, getting a new policy with a preexisting condition, if not impossible, would be very expensive. The private bureaucracy considers stockholders before they consider your health.
Having a public health plan option would not introduce the bureaucracy into the mix because it already exists. I do hope your readers consider this before coming to a final decision on a public health plan option.