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Is this the inevitable death of the Public Option?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by sumit1207, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. sumit1207

    sumit1207 Prince

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    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090929/ap_on_go_co/us_health_care_overhaul
    So we'll get these non-profit "co-ops" instead. Great.
    Democrats are essentially compromising the whole plan for ONE (1) Republican senator.

    Gotta say though, noble effort by that Rockefeller. Very unexpectedly progressive. I mean he's representing WEST VIRGINIA.
     
  2. Integral

    Integral Can't you hear it?

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    As long as the bill has provisions to create a true health insurance market, rather than the set of geographic monopolies we have now, we won't really need a public option. Unless, of course, your goal is to have a public plan for the sake of having a public plan.

    It appears health insurance is on the move again. I'd better read up on this 'Baucus bill'...

    EDIT: from my go-to source on health economics,

    Spoiler length :
    The Baucus Plan

    What is Max Baucus proposing in his inital health reform bill? Most of the principles are based on the Senate Finance Committee 2009 white paper.

    * Creation of a Health Insurance Exchange. Insurers participating in the exchange could would be precluded from discriminating based on pre-existing conditions.
    * Expand Medicaid to all individuals below 133% of the federal poverty line.
    * Expand SCHIP to cover all children in household below 250% of the federal poverty line in 2013.
    * Reduce Medicare Part D ‘donut hole’ so that enrollees in the donut hole range only pay 50% of drug costs rather than 100%.
    * Standardize benefits into 4 categories: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
    * Excise Tax: Levy a non‐deductible excise tax of 35% on insurance companies and plan administrators for any health insurance plan that is above the threshold of $8,000 for singles and $21,000 for family plans.
    * Individual Mandate with tax subsidies. Those with incomes between 133% and 300% of the FPL would be eligible for these subsidies. Those who don’t get health insurance will be subject to a fine.
    * Employers who don’t provide health insurance must contribute to a fund to cover government insurance/subsidies for these individuals. Small employers with less than 50 employees are exempted from this requirement.
    * Small business subsidy. Businesses with the fewest workers and the lowest wages would be offered a new tax credit to purchase health insurance for their employees. The subsidy is up to 35% of the business’s contribution.
    * $6 billion for co-ops. This money would be used to fund the start-up costs and capital requirements for these co-ops.
    * Preventive Services: Eliminate Medicare copayment for preventive care. Provide financial incentives to encourage Medicaid to cover preventive care services without copayments.
    * Do not cut Medicare physician payment according to the SGR. Instead, increase Medicare physician compensation.
    * Malpractice reform. Allow states to develop alternatives to the current tort litigation system.

    Though that list is as of 9/20/09, so it's probably out of date by now...
     
  3. emzie

    emzie wicked witch of the North

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    I'm not sure if a public option is truly needed. It's not as if this bill kills medicaid and medicare. Or SCHIP. Or one of the many other government programs.

    The second poorest state in the country. Southern Democrats (yes, I know WV isn't truly southern!) tend to be okay with government support.
     
  4. illram

    illram Deity

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  5. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    Who knew there was corruption in politics. It's a wonderful tradeoff for all big corporations: several million dollars spent for multi-billion dollar profits that would otherwise be at risk. When people realize that US politics is far from a democratic process there might be a chance at change. The constantly claims to want to spread democracy here and there; how about spreading it inside its borders.
     
  6. Holycannoli

    Holycannoli Deity

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    Corruption is the name of the game in Washington.

    What's important is the health insurance market, not the public option. The public option would only serve to undermine the other insurance companies and possibly drive them out of the heath care business since they don't have to worry about profits, making it potentially very hard to compete with. There's a reason there's bipartisan opposition to the public option (not entirely based on corruption either).

    There's still other sticking points to get past though. The public option is only one of them.
     
  7. Bill3000

    Bill3000 OOOH NOOOOOOO! Supporter

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    You keep on saying that. I do not think it means what you think it means.
     
  8. Holycannoli

    Holycannoli Deity

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    It means politicians are loyal to lobbyists, loyal to those who give them campaign contributions, loyal to close friends, loyal to businesses they have a vested interest in etc. It's been like that for a long time. You can probably find corrupt dirt on almost every politician in Washington, like that one who had some shady dealings with the selling of his pharmacy (I do not remember the details at all, but it's recent news).

    Washington is simply corrupt.
     
  9. I'm Cleo!

    I'm Cleo! Deity

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    Apparently there are plans to put the public option back in when the Finance bill is reconciled with the other Senate bill, or even when the House and Senate bills are reconciled. Some of the people I read are cautiously optimistic.

    So . . . the public option could provide healthcare of such quality and at such cost that private insurers possibly couldn't even compete? And you want to keep this from happening why?

    Cleo
     
  10. dirtyparrot

    dirtyparrot Upholding Brannigan's Law

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    I really don't understand the big benefit in health insurance being for profit. What's exactly wrong with demanding that all health insurance companies be non-profit (regardless of whether you want the government to be directly administrating this or not)?
     
  11. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Are you not from the US? There is a political ideology here that says that anything private sector is by definition better than anything public sector. This ideology has been growing in strength and extremeness since the 70s.
     
  12. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    Exactly. I find it laughable that someone in your country actually dares use that kind of argument against public financing of health care. It's like they're assuming that the people they're talking to are complete idiots.
     
  13. Mark1031

    Mark1031 Deity

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    Well we now have votes for the left to see who to spend $$ against. I'll bet there is a real public option in the final bill or it won't pass. You could do it another way but it would require regulation of insurance companies like a utility. W/o a public option or strict utility like regulation a mandate is just a give away to the insurance companies not reform and it will destroy the Dems politically by having the government force you to buy a crappy product. It would be political manna from heaven for the Repubs.
     
  14. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    John Ensign said that all we have to do is get rid of automobiles and guns and we would have the best healthcare in the world.
     
  15. Earthling

    Earthling Deity

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    That's very unfairly conflating preventative healthcare with the rest of the medical system, and you and anyone else should know it. Not that the US can't work on this, but magically eliminating statistical causes of harm isn't possible, and while it would be correlated with better health, it doesn't mean the system itself is better.
     
  16. JollyRoger

    JollyRoger Slippin' Jimmy Supporter

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    He actually said something about our stats would be the best in the world if it weren't for automobile and gun accidents. I was just poking fun at him as I can't imagine Ensign advocating for public transportation or gun grabbing.
     
  17. Holycannoli

    Holycannoli Deity

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    Because then the government is in charge. I do not want the government in charge of everything like it's trying so desperately to lately.

    It's not a question of quality either, but of cost. I can bet the public option would have less options than most private plans, but the cost would make it worthwhile for employers to buy instead of private.

    People see a public option as a first step to a single-payer system which this country cannot afford, unless you agree with the rich footing the bills for the poor, way beyond what they already do.
     
  18. I'm Cleo!

    I'm Cleo! Deity

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    That's the joke. While what Ensign said is probably false anyway, it's funny because it's unthinkable that John Ensign (R-NV) would advocate for gun control or more public transportation. The opponents of healthcare reform (both Democrat and Republican) are really just throwing **** up against the wall and seeing what sticks at this point. There's absolutely zero coherence now (assuming there was any to begin with).

    And it's JR, who's never serious unless he's talking about the Second Amendment.

    Cleo
     
  19. civ_king

    civ_king Deus Caritas Est

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    because... helping help is communist just like Jesus and being communist is being unAmerican
     
  20. I'm Cleo!

    I'm Cleo! Deity

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    I see the public option as a first step to a single-payer system which is one of the only solutions that our country can afford. And I do agree with the rich footing the bills for the poor way beyond what they already do. Throughout history, in fact, that's worked pretty well -- it made America the most powerful country in the world, both militarily and economically, took us to the moon, won a world war, "defeated" the Soviet Union, &c.

    Cleo
     

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