The most important issue for a healthy healthcare future: a unitary, tierless system. This should not be disputable.

Lets focus on what is needed. The public cannot be optional. The notion of a "public option" is a problematic one because of how the WTO GATS definitions of "services supplied as an exercise of governmental authority" works.

The relevant rule in the WTO GATS, Article I:3 is the following.

"For the purposes of this Agreement...


(b) 'services' includes any service in any sector except services supplied in the exercise of
governmental authority;


(c) 'a service supplied in the exercise of governmental authority' means any service which is supplied
neither on a commercial basis, nor in competition with one or more service suppliers."

-------------------------------------------------

What that means is to be public and exempt from the road to dismantlement embedded in GATS and other FTAs that embed its definition, there must be NO USER CHARGES FOR HEALTHCARE AT ALL,

(so no tiers, no metal levels, no "gap" plans.)

and especially NO OTHER PROVIDERS OF THE SERVICE. NONE, NO INSURANCE COMPANIES.

ESPECIALLY NO FOREIGN INSURANCE COMPANIES, as that will TRIGGER HUGE COSTS TO ESCAPE, costs which could LOCK US IN FOREVER.

Selling one policy for the whole country is what the Third World insurance companies want.

The plan in the WTO context is globalizing healthcare (higher education, etc.) and lowering medicolegal standards of care to the lowest common denominator to make it possible.

Eliminating the ability to sue if minimal standards are met. Yes, healthcare is a lot cheaper in countries like India, Turkey and Mexico. But, that doesn't mean it will be cheaper for US patients, or that pre-existing conditions coverage will be required again if its taken away, no, the WTO "Understanding on Commitments in Financial Services" included a standstill clause which officially FROZE (the ACA broke this rule) our laws, preventing pre-existing conditions to be required, It set a ceiling in February 1998 as the most financial service regulation we are allowed!

You will notice all US FS regulation subsequent to that date is now in the process of being repealed. That's likely not coincidence.

SO, their default plans are most likely to globalize HC in order to create a lot of new tiers. After all, its natural that poor people get what their money paid for and no more. WTO rules frame subsidies as "trade distorting" and require their elimination if they cause crowd out of commercial services by being available to anybody who can afford for profit health care.  this is what made people dislike the ACA, it failed to reduce the dependence people with jobs had on for profit care because it was not available to most working people. Only some. And it was too expensive because it was designed to not crowd out for profit health care. This is what the WTO rules will likely require, and we cant escape it as long as we fail to pursue the procedure to leave it.

Other means of "escape" are also being cut off.

Due to both the GATS and talks currently proceeding on a new (secret, so very little is known about them besides a few leaked documents which are likely t have changed) plurilateral agreement to add to it, US companies may also get to CAPTURE "health tourism" which currently is largely unregulated, and will insert themselves in the transactions, making sure poor persons in the US get poor persons healthcare elsewhere, (otherwise US companies are afraid that overseas doctors would provide much better care, causing liability problems for them)

This agreement also seems to take care to embed the ceiling on regulations that established a freeze on FS regulation back in the 1990s. Cutting off the ability to have pre-existing conditions coverage. (That would make health insurance much less profitable to sell in the US to Americans for foreign insurers)

So expect any changes to likely cut off the ability US patients now have of getting better health care overseas for less by means of secret contracts. Just like they do today with US doctors, causing many to stop practicing medicine.

This is what global capture looks like.

ALSO, EVERYTHING THAT IS DONE FOR A SHORT PERIOD THAT INVOLVES COMPANIES LOCKS IN. SO WE MUST TRANSITION DIRECTLY TO MORE REGULATION< i.e. public healthcare, we can't make any "deregulatory" changes in this sector without them locking in. Its a one way street. Make sure politicians know this, and get them on the record as having been told.  They are trying to pretend ignorance.

We are like totally blind people trying to explore the Grand Canyon on foot.

NO means NO.
Not "some.

References:

General Agreement on Trade in Services, Article 1:3 (b) and (c)

See especially this essay:

GATS and Public Service Systems
Ministry of Employment and Investment
British Colombia

http://www.iatp.org/files/GATS_and_Public_Service_Systems.htm

Also see the top several papers in our external links directory, as they are oriented towards this particular issue.

See Lori Wallach discuss standstill on Democracy Now.