Much of the criticism of Clinton’s proposal from the right has thus far focused on the individual mandates and employer mandates, but another aspect of the plan that should concern conservatives that has gotten less attention is her promise to offer Americans a new “public plan option similar to Medicare.” Given the drastic expansion of Medicare and Medicaid from their original purpose over the past 40 years, conservatives should be very suspicious about this particular feature of her proposal.
While her plan is not technically “socialist” in that it maintains the private insurance market, it would create so many new regulations that it’s hard to imagine how one would design a better plan if the goal were to drive private insurers out of business. Her plan requires that insurers offer people health insurance at a price that is deemed “affordable” regardless of pre-existing conditions or risk factors. Clinton, of course, argues that she isn’t trying to drive these companies out of business, but imagine if the government required all banks to offer low insurance rates to people with long records of defaulting on loans.
So, while the plan is not socialist in the technical sense, it could easily pave the way to a socialist, single-payer system over time, as private insurers go out of business and get replaced by ever-expanding government programs.