Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By timestaff
June 28, 2009

President Obama is a pretty good persuader, but he’s been having a hard time selling his health care reform plan. His health care town hall meeting on ABC last Wednesday drew dismal ratings, garnering fewer viewers than a rerun of CSI: New York (and drawing gleeful responses from many of his non-fans). Meanwhile, some of his putative allies in the Democratic party have been sniping away at the plan, and negotiators in the senate have been slashing costs by lopping off some of the plan’s most progressive elements, like subsidies for lower-income Americans to help them afford to buy insurance. (Huh? Wasn’t helping the uninsured get insurance one of the main reasons for the plan in the first place?)

Cost isn’t the only stumbling block for the plan. The other biggie is Obama’s advocacy of the “public option” — that is, a Medicare-like public insurance plan that would compete with private insurers. While some have made alarmist claims that such a plan would drive private insurers out of business, others simply complain that it would cost too much. Indeed, some note, when the Congressional Budget Office added up the costs of early versions of the bill, arriving at a total cost of $1.6 trillion, they did so without including the cost of a public plan. Just imagine, critics say, how much Obamacare will cost with the plan included!

These critics are looking at it backwards, say researchers at the liberal Economic Policy Institute: Including a public plan will actually reduce the overall costs of health care:

Indeed, they point out, one independent analysis found that having a public plan could actually save the US up to $1 trillion over ten years, while providing health care to all. Some of the elements of the plan contributing to that figure include increased competition among health care providers and lower administrative costs.

It’s a compelling argument, and one that deserves to have a more central place in this debate, lest we nickel-and-dime ourselves into an anemic health care plan that ends up costing us more in the long run, while abandoning the goal of health care for the currently uninsured.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST