The head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services reinforced the Trump administration's opposition to replacing the current health insurance system with a public option or a single-payer plan.
"The public option is a Trojan horse with a single payer system hidden inside," CMS administrator Seema Verma said at the National Association of Health Underwriters 2020 Capitol Conference.
Verma told NAHU members the administration "wants to support you, not take your place."
"Just as referees shouldn't play the game they officiate, the government shouldn't be in a business it regulates," she added.
Medicare for All would strip 180 million Americans of their private insurance, Verma said.
"It would supersize our existing program past its breaking point, eliminating choice and decreasing quality - with a massive tax hike to boot."
She noted that for the second consecutive year, premiums for coverage offered on Healthcare.gov decreased while more carriers entered the individual marketplace.
However, she said, millions of middle-income Americans who do not qualify for subsidies under the Affordable Care Act are finding they cannot afford to buy the coverage they are required to have.
"And if Americans who don't get subsidies can't afford their premiums, the promise of coverage for pre-existing conditions rings hollow."