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RELEASE: New Brief Spotlights How Public Health Insurance Options Can Advance Health Equity

Washington, D.C. — Today, the Center for American Progress released a new issue brief that looks at how public health insurance options and other similar measures can advance health equity by lowering health care costs, increasing competition, and reinvesting savings in equity initiatives. The brief is particularly timely in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated preexisting health inequities by disproportionately infecting and taking the lives of people of color and low-income people in the United States. It also comes as more than a half dozen states across the country are implementing, studying, or considering adopting public option plans or similar reforms.

The authors lay out how public option proposals can:

  • Bring down prices for care, generating savings that can be passed on to enrollees in public option and commercial plans and invested in underserved communities
  • Target higher payments to providers serving vulnerable and underserved communities
  • Pass on savings to consumers through lower premiums; deductibles; and out-of-pocket costs for primary and behavioral health, prescription drugs used to treat chronic conditions, and nonclinical services such as transportation
  • Use savings to invest in nonclinical social determinants of health that drive disparities, such as housing, education, and transportation
  • Be responsive to vulnerable communities before, during, and after implementation

Please click here to read: “Public Options Will Improve Health Equity Across the Country” by Nicole Rapfogel and Maura Calsyn

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Colin Seeberger at cseeberger@americanprogress.org or 202.741.6292.