Ohioans need practical solutions to help bring down rising health care costs and expand coverage and access to more hardworking families. Unfortunately, it seems practicality is something that is sorely missing from today’s health care debates—particularly when it comes to the various proposals being put forth by Democrats in Congress and those running for their party’s presidential nomination.

Regardless of the name — whether it is Medicare for all, a public option, or single payer — any of the top-down, government-controlled health care proposals these candidates and national leaders have offered would do little to control costs. These proposals are clearly not based in reality, but intended only to gain national attention in a crowded presidential field.

To begin, these kinds of proposals would all come at a major cost to the American taxpayer. With a price tag of more than $30 trillion over the first decade alone, a Medicare for All-style proposal would mean higher taxes for hardworking American families. It’s no wonder why the candidates pushing these government-run health care insurance systems are so vague on the details when it comes to funding these massive proposals.

Even if the move to socialized medicine didn’t take place overnight, just the introduction of a public option to compete with private and employer-sponsored plans would begin the slow and steady descent into a government-controlled health care insurance system. That is because it would be virtually impossible for private health care coverage to compete. Slowly but surely, the government “option” would crowd out the marketplace until it is the only one left standing, leaving fewer choices for consumers to find individualized plans that meet their unique needs.

This kind of one-size-fits-all approach does not work for health care. If candidates and members of Congress are serious about addressing the myriad of issues facing our health care system, they must put forward realistic policy solutions. The best way to lower costs is to continue encouraging competition in a free market, which would be impossible under a Medicare for All, single payer, or public option proposal. It’s time for a much-needed reality check.


Rep. Steve Huffman

Guest Columnist

Steve Huffman state representative for the 80th Ohio House District. He also is the former Miami County Coroner.