Dylan Matthews flags Karen Ramsburg as a Congressional candidate running on some creative policy ideas. Why don’t we see more Democrats running on a public option? That was one of the more popular ideas during the health care reform debate:
Karen Ramsburg (I-Pa.) making House bid: Let people buy out-of-state health insurance, but also give them a public option.
Ramsburg is running as an independent against Republican incumbent Bill Shuster in this safe, southern Pennsylvania 9th District. Many Republican candidates endorse allowing people to purchase health insurance across state lines, and many Democrats endorse a public option, but Ramsburg is the only candidate I’ve seen to endorse both.
Sometimes people don’t understand why this is even an issue so let me quick explain. It’s not about inter-state commerce, it’s about the definition of an insurance plan. You know how most credit card companies are headquartered in Delaware because Delaware’s got the weakest regulations? That’s what the Republicans have in mind for health insurance. And specifically, they want to define down what counts as an insurance plan until we all have mini-med plans that don’t cover anything. The point of the Affordable Care Act is not just to reduce health care costs though, it’s to improve health care and insurance coverage.
The key to allowing inter-state competition is to establish the federal insurance regulations as a floor, rather than a ceiling. If we use the federal coverage standards as the floor, then there’s no reason we can’t have a national insurance market where insurance companies It’s not clear what exactly Karen Ramsburg has in mind here. If she wants to clarify her position I’ll be happy to update with her response.