Showing posts with label Quick Look At DIFFERENT Public Options. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Quick Look At DIFFERENT Public Options. Show all posts

Thursday, October 15, 2009

All 'Public Options' Aren't Alike...

A Quick Look at the DIFFERENT
' Public Options '

By Greg Jones

As I watch the debate over health care reform I can't help but notice the caution in the verbiage being used by the proponents of public option. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has declared that " no bill will get through the House without a public option ". Rep. Anthony Weiner has emphasized that it will be difficult to get a bill passed without a public option. When we hear statements of this nature with such conviction we naturally are invigorated with the feeling of " Yes ! "

But there's one seemingly small, but very important problem with this strategic rhetoric that no one is bringing to the attention of We The People, not the Democrats, not the Republicans, and certainly not the media. The problem lies in the harmonious phrasing carefully used by all public option advocates, and that phrase is ...."A" public option.

To see through this one must first analyze exactly what the title ' public option ' means. It simply means ANY health insurance plan available to the PUBLIC as an alternative to the current private health insurance system which would be another choice or OPTION to what exists now. But there are multiple versions all calling themselves public options that vary tremendously in how they will effect health care reform and/or make health care more accessible for all. Keep in mind that the one thing that is certain to be included in the final bill will be a MANDATE or new law forcing ALL Americans to have or buy health care insurance or they will be PENALIZED. So here's a quick look at the different plans all calling themselves
"A" Public Option.

PUBLIC OPTION: (The plan President Obama spoke of throughout the campaign) First, there's the true, strong, competitive public option which is basically a health insurance plan put together by the government to compete against existing private insurers. This would be a national plan designed to generate so many members or participants nationally that the sheer numbers will give this plan the leverage or negotiating power to offer reduced, very competitive rates. This public option would have lower administrative costs since it would not be designed to make a profit and will not have an advertising budget. These savings will help this plan be even lower in cost and more affordable for all. The key to the success of this national plan is the great number of participants.

CO-OPS: Next, there is the co-ops, aka " co-operatives " which will be setup and initially funded by government funds, then turned over to individual non-profits, which will work similarly to the public option mentioned above except instead of being one strong, national program, the co-op plan would be individual statewide plans like 50 'baby public options'. The insurance cartel prefers this plan because it is a much weaker plan since the number of participants and therefore negotiating power would be based on a much lower total number of participants in each particular state resulting, most say, in being non-competitive. The cartel also favors this plan because as co-ops have been tried over the past decade they have basically failed because of being unable to compete effectively. Lastly, in order for a co-op to even get started in a state it would need a minimum of 500,000 participants, a feat insurmountable for a number of states which means those states would not have this 'public option' at all. Bottom line, the co-op plan just won't work (see video below of Robert Reich explaining public option vs. co-ops).

OPT-IN: Then, in a non-stop attempt by our great politicians to come up with whatever means possible to water down competition against the insurance cartel, another brilliant idea has been proposed called OPT-IN. This plan is basically one step weaker than a co-op in that it gives each state the option to offer the public option plan in their state or not...If the state likes it they can OPT-IN...if not, everyone in that state is stuck with the status quo while still being forced by law to pay the current high rates of the insurance cartel....or be PENALIZED !

OPT-OUT: This seems to be the plan that is picking up the most steam lately. In fact, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), one of the fiercest advocates for public option recently stated as reported by HuffPo that he " left open the possibility that reform would include (and he himself would support) an opt-out clause that allowed states to set up co-operatives in place of the public plan." So Opt-Out means that each state would start out as part of the national, good, strong, competitive public option but would have the right to stop participating in the good plan resorting to the weaker, non-competitive co-op plan. Some politicians feel that this opt-out plan would be successful because state officials would be 'embarrassed' to switch/opt-out from the good public option to the weaker, higher costing co-op. Fact is, the opt-out idea will simply benefit the cartel in states where they have monopolies as in Alabama where 1 insurer has 89% of the entire insurance market. A major concern is that politicians in monopoly states will cowtow to the lobbyists (take bribes/campaign funds,etc.) not caring what they 'look like', to opt-out of the national, robust/strong plan...switching to a state co-op plan which would be pleasingly non-competitive to the cartel...would be of no true benefit to residents of the state...just back to status quo. (and don't forget the mandate)

TRIGGER: Finally, there's this super-brainstorm of a plan which simply says let's just keep things the way they are now, trust the insurance companies to do the right thing and make their prices more affordable on their own, and if things don't get better in like 6, 8 or 10 years from now, THEN we'll start (trigger) the public option. The saddest thing about this plan is that they (our politicians) are actually serious. Pathetic !

WATCH: Robert Reich Explains
Strong Public Option Vs. Co-Ops

o when our Servants of the People say, "'ll have A public option ", make sure you know exactly what they mean. No Co-ops, no opt-in or opt-out and definitely no trigger. Unfortunately, many of our politicians are more dedicated to aiding and abetting the insurance cartel than they are delivering true, accessible, quality health care for ALL. And if they think that shame is an effective tool, then NOW is the time to

Make Calls...Make Demands...SHAME THEM NOW
Competitive Public Option ONLY !

CLICK HERE if video does not appear through email server