ProPublica’s Sabrina Shankman reviews America’s existing “public options” for health care, finding mixed results and limited utility. In addition to Medicare and Medicaid, Shankman reviews a few less prominent institutions:
- The armed forces Tricare plan: Covers all active members of the military, retirees and their families, regardless of preexisting conditions. If you stick to military treatment facilities, it’s cheap.
- Veterans Health Administration: Veterans who meet its standards are guaranteed high quality care, but funding is tight at the VA right now.
- Indian Health Service: Allows American Indians and Alaska Natives free access to reservation clinics… until the service’s funding runs out, as it does about halfway through each year.
- Healthcare Group of Arizona: It was founded to provide afforable insurance to certain small businesses, but a lack of funds and climbing deductibles mean that many employers will be better off looking to the private market anyway.
Reuters has a handy summary of the key provisions of the latest bill likely to be considered by the House of Representatives.