Sallie Bryant: Alabamians need practical solutions for health care

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Democratic frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden recently unveiled his health care plan. While this public option plan may not sound as extreme as some plans for his other fellow candidates pushing Medicare-for-all, it’s not moderate at all. Any provision that would create a public option to compete with private insurance is an impractical plan that would harm hardworking Americans.

No one disagrees that health care costs are too high, but we should be focusing on improving the system we currently have in which more than 90 percent of Americans are covered. Vice President Biden seems to understand this as he has opposed the push for a “Medicare for All” system that other Democratic presidential candidates are calling for. But this plan would ultimately lead to a government run health care system through under-pricing private health insurers and abolishing the free-market system, making the public option the only option.

He should not mask his intentions for a universal health care system by calling it a “public option,” which is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from government-controlled health care. A public option would not only cause premiums in the private insurance market to rise, but it would also lead to higher taxes for hardworking people and could potentially result in longer wait times for lesser quality care. This is not the solution most Americans want from our elected officials.

What most people want is to build upon our current health care system and work to address the issues that still persist. For the good of Alabamians and all Americans, I hope Vice President Biden corrects his course and focuses on practical ways to improve health care in our country.

Sallie Bryant is executive director of the Alabama Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.