Is anyone else as confused as I am over this new turn in the healthcare debate? First Obama said he wasn’t goining to sign any legislation that didn’t include a “public option” and now it’s not the most important part of the bill and people are losing site of the rest of the bill. In fact, the public option is just a sliver of the bill, perhaps much like “end of life counseling” is only a sliver.
So now we’ve moved on (maybe) to the coop option. What does that even mean? I get my milk from a coop; it’s the last place I would think about getting my healthcare plan. Edmund Haislmaier blogged on The Foundry…
So again, whether Sebelius misspoke or the media “missheard” the truth is, we’re not out of this thing yet. The devil, as they say, is in the details and we have to remember that there are still several things wrong with the bill as it currently stands. “The individual and employer mandates, the expansion and federalization of Medicaid, the creation of a new health czar, not to mention the trillion dollar cost of the new plan, are all still intact. If, as Sebelius insists, the White House wants health reform to increase “choice and competition” than there are a number of conservative alternatives in the House and Senate that do just that by pursuing health reform through a “patient-centered” approach.” (The Foundry)
If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.
However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”
So in short, nothing has really changed and as Rush says, “it’s not the time to get giddy.”