A group of 22 Democratic senators (including senators Begich, Dorgan Feinstien and Warner) recently sent a letter to Baucus strongly asking him to find greater savings from the Medicare Part D. One of their three ideas to find greater savings from Medicare Part D is to set up a Part D public option:
Create a Medicare-administered Part D plan that would compete against existing Part D plans. A model with a workable formulary is outlined in S.330, the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings and Choice Act of 2009. Such a plan could also serve as a national default plan for low-income beneficiaries.
I'm glad to see that Begich, Dorgan, Feinstien, and Warner support a strong public option for Medicare Part D. They clearly understand that HHS can do a better job of providing health insurance at a lower price than private insurance companies. They know that including a public option as part of an insurance exchange will dramatically reduce the cost for both consumers and the government.
The letter does raise one very important question: If Begich, Dorgan, Feinstein, and Warner support a public option for Medicare Part D, why are they not publicly supporting the idea as part of the new health insurance exchange? (According to DFA) They have already stated in the letter that they support the underlying logic of a public option. If a public plan is a good idea for Medicare Part D, it should be a good idea for the new health care exchange.