The United States needs an economy grounded in justice and morality, where everyone, free of undue resource constraints, can prosper. The federal government should intervene by introducing public options that provide these essential goods and services–from medical and health care, to high-quality education, to a right to employment–in direct competition with private firms. Doing so will set “floors” on wages and quality and “ceilings” on price for private actors who are intent on providing important economic rights at a cost.
In this brief, the authors explore what public options might look like in employment, health, housing, education, and financial services. We argue that in these sectors, public options are necessary to combat high-cost, low-quality provisions by private actors and ensure universal and better quality access to all Americans.