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State coverage model no help for uneasy insurance industry

New York Times, June 8, 2009

In reasserting his support for a new government health plan for the uninsured, President Obama stoked the fears of private insurers that they would not be able to compete with a Medicare-like option and might gradually be priced out of existence. The Obama administration has sought to reassure the industry by pointing to the three dozen states that offer their employees a choice between government-backed insurance options and a menu of commercial policies. But health policy experts are deeply divided about whether the state employee plans bear any meaningful resemblance to the public plan options being considered.