House Democrats have introduced a bill that would give consumers the option to buy a government-run health insurance plan under Obamacare.
Supporters point out it could save more than $100 billion over 10 years at a time when lawmakers are looking for ways to trim the deficit. The idea was discussed during the contentious debate in Congress over President Barack Obama's health reform law but died after strong pushback from the health insurance industry and conservative lawmakers.
The government-run option would compete with private insurance plans in the Obamacare health insurance exchanges -- online marketplaces like Expedia or Travelocity where multiple health insurers will offer a range of standardized benefit plans at varying price levels.
The public option could reduce health care costs by stimulating competition with private insurers and paying providers at Medicare rates. A version of the public option plan tied to Medicare rates could save $110 billion over a decade, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, according to Huffington Post.