Moran on Fed. Employee Health Care, Public Option
Rep. James Moran (D-Va.) defended the infamous "public option" during a live discussion on washingtonpost.com Thursday, following a raucous town hall meeting with constituents on Tuesday about health care.
He entertained a few questions about the public and private sector worth calling out here:
Arlington, Va.: In what real-world concrete example has the involvement of a government or quasi-government agency as a participating entity led to actual competition and a lowering of costs and not the development of a monopoly? If you cannot cite any examples, how do you know that such a lowering of costs will actually occur?
Rep. Jim Moran: Since the early 1990's there has been an effort to enable the private sector to compete with the federal govt in nearly every area of service provision. This has especially been the case within the Defense Department. There were more private contractors in Iraq than federal military and civilian personnel. And yet while there are some very conscientious military contractors that I am proud to work with, the firms like Halliburton, Black Water, Aegis and a number of others have charged the govt considerably more than the in-house cost of the same service and have been responsible for the most egregious abuses of America's values and principles.
No private insurance system would provide the care that is provided our wounded warriors through the VA system. Nor have we ever been able to protect our national land and recreation areas as well as the national park service has. There needs to be a balance between the public and private sectors in my opinion and the anti-govt vitriol that has accompanied this health care debate is less than constructive.
Roanoke, Va.: To show how connected you are to your constituents, will you vote to have you and your fellow Congressmen participate in the proposed health-care reform? In other words, you will be in the same boat as we are. Also, why is it politically difficult to address tort reform?
Rep. Jim Moran: Members of Congress participate in the same federal employees health plan that is available to all federal employees. I pay several thousand dollars per year out of pocket for insurance, as do most Americans. The exchange that is included in legislation is modeled after the system that we have. It will provide a greater choice of insurance plans than most people today have available to them. And because of the increased competition the premiums will probably be lower and the annual rate of increase will be slower than is currently the case.
Read the full chat with Rep. Moran here.
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