Freshman Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.) is upset that she has 66 different insurance plans to choose from. Meanwhile, government over-regulation of the health care industry has left many Americans with only one.
Sunday night, Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to lament that, since she serves in Congress, she too many complex health insurance plans to choose from in picking out coverage.
"Members of Congress also have to buy their plans off the exchange," the freshman legislator explained, noting that the plans are partially subsidized by taxpayer money. "That means I get to 'choose' btwn 66 complex financial products," she continued "This is absurd. No person should go without healthcare, & no one should go through this, either."
Members of Congress also have to buy their plans off the exchange. They are Gold plans that are partially subsidize… https://t.co/glqh3NnxTK— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1576462438.0
She went on to add that, while she was "VERY thankful" to have health insurance, "it is a moral outrage that it took me *getting elected to Congress* for that to happen" and that the U.S. needs to implement Medicare for All in order to set things right and "become an advanced society."
After getting criticized for the statements, Ocasio-Cortez responded to criticisms by saying that "Healthcare is not H&M" and that "Streamlining our system & covering more isn't a bad thing."
They’re also upset that I stated 66 “choices” is too many. It is! Healthcare is not H&M. Insurance is a complex fi… https://t.co/3FupWbtMdO— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1576506836.0
The congresswoman's suggestion for simplifying things — a government-run health insurance scheme — would likely do so through the destruction of the private insurance market. Back in July, she said that nobody would be "heartbroken" about such a change.
"People like their health care, they like their doctor," Ocasio-Cortez was quoted as saying. "But I'd be interested in what the public polling on Aetna would look like."
But while Ocasio-Cortez says she has too many health insurance options available to her, many Americans have faced a much different problem under the current system. After years of headlines about insurers pulling out of markets as a result of Obamacare's provisions, November figures from the Kaiser Family foundation found that 10 percent of American enrollees have a choice of only one exchange insurer for the year 2020, while 22 percent have access to just two insurers. This is despite an announcement from the administration in October that more insurers would participate in the upcoming year.
Furthermore, critics of Medicare for All proposals also point out that creating a health care market with fewer choices and less competition than already present under Obamacare would also mean a decreased quality of care for American consumers.
"What we'll be doing is all entering into a one expensive new government-run system," Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said of Medicare for All in a July speech on the Senate floor. "Democrats' one-size-fits-all government-run approach would force all Americans to pay more through their taxes to wait longer for care that will be worse care."