BEWARE THE PUBLIC OPTION TRAP
By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN
As any good Persian rug dealer knows, you have to hold back a bargaining chit so that you can whip it out at the very end to tie down the sale. That's how Obama is playing the so-called public option in his healthcare program. His plan seems to be to combine its abandonment with some form of tort reform and try to buy off some Republicans - maybe only Maine's Olympia Snowe - to give moderate Democrats enough confidence in the veneer of bi-partisanship to win their backing for his bill.
But it's a fraud and a trick.
(a) Whether or not there is a public option makes no difference in the fundamental objection most elderly have to the bill - that it guts Medicare and Medicaid. All of the bills now under consideration cut these two programs by one half of a trillion dollars. And all of them require the medical community to serve thirty to fifty million new patients without any concomitant growth in the number of doctors or nurses. These cuts and shortages will lead to draconian rationing of medical care for the elderly, whether under a public option or not.
(b) The most likely proposal is to replace the public option with some form of buyer's co-op. But since there is no currently existing co-op to serve as a vehicle for health insurance, it would have to be formed. By who? The government, of course. That would mean, as a practical matter, that the "co-op option" would be a government run plan for several years. In fact, they may not get around to setting up a co-op at all.
(c) The other alternative, mentioned by Senator Snowe herself, would be for a "trigger" mechanism. This provision would require the creation of a public alternative to private insurance plans if, after a specified period of time, they did not lower rates to a pre-determined level. Given the escalation of healthcare costs, it is almost inevitable that this provision would lead to a government plan. And, anyway, who says that the government insurance option would be more successful in reducing costs?
But Obama has to at least appear to be willing to compromise, so he has invented the idea of re-packaging the public option in order to seem to be flexible.
The key, here, is not to be distracted by the debate over the public option. It matters very much to private insurance companies whether the government becomes their competitor, but, for the elderly (and the near-elderly), the key concern is not the public option by the rationing and cuts projected under the program.
In the Clinton Administration, we worked hard to kill the proposed Medicare cuts and are no less committed to stopping them in the Obama presidency. That they were once proposed by the right and are now being pushed by the left makes no difference. A cut is a cut is a cut. And Medicare should not be cut.
The proposed cuts to Medicare are not cuts to services, but cuts to administrative costs, and cuts to reimbursements. See here: http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/more-senior-scare/
By the by, the half-trillion figure is disingenuous. Although approximately 500 billion will be cut, there will be increases totaling about 281 billion, meaning a total savings of 219 billion.
As for your talk about the number of nurses/doctors, isn't that what makes you think with increased demand there will not be increased numbers of doctors? Additionally, it's worth noting the the amount of care will not change (you claim, in any case), it will simply be spread differently. Now, I certainly don't argue that seniors are somehow less deserving of care, but you seem to be arguing that those currently uninsured are somehow less worthy of care.
(b) isn't a real argument. You just point out that the government will likely be involved in setting up the co-ops, as if that somehow invalidates the idea a priori.
As for (c), I don't doubt that under the current plan costs will probably keep rising (though likely more slowly than before). A government option will reduce costs by keeping insurers honest, its premiums would not be inflated by the need for huge executive bonuses, and it would likely do a better job of covering care because it has no motivation to deny benefits.
No. Supply of doctors is heavily restricted by government licensing, both of doctors and medical schools.
Exactly, Medicare (aka Congress and the government) determine the number of doctors trained. See article.
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/200 … tage_x.htm
So that makes the problem even easier to fix: the government will just adjust the supply of doctors. I'd also like to note that the article made it sounds as though, although it is a governmental decision, it is heavily influenced by the AMA.
If they can cut cost and produce savings then why haven't they been doing it the whole time to show us its possible? I already know the answer!
Political opposition mayhaps? You are aware that a public option hasn't been politically feasible in America in, perhaps, ever and certainly not in the last thirty years.
What political opposition? Democrats control everything, I was talking about the Obama administration! If it is possible then why haven't they started doing it?
My assumption is that they want to be bipartisan, to show their willingness to cooperate etc. Other than that I can't particularly think of a reason, excepting idiocy.
They haven't shown to me that they want to be bipartisan so it must be idiocy. Thats why I don't want them or Republicans running my health care, see I am being bipartisan.
How haven't they exhibited bipartisanship? They could have gone in asking for single-payer, universal (which they should have). Instead they asked for far less and are even backing off of that, despite having the votes for it.
I'm also really curious about what you mean by "running [my] health care." You are aware that under no plan would the government be deciding what treatments you get, or even what doctor you have.
The threat of filibuster by intransigent Republicans.
Keep trying one of these days blaming Republicans for the failure of an incompetent President may work!
Listen we can have better health care its easier to do then it is to talk about it seems, or at least our political system makes it that tough. People don't want illegal immigrants to get covered, but they already do when they go to the Emergency room and you pay for it, so why not fix health care so its cheaper and you don't have to foot such a high bill! O and P.S. Your and immigrant too, unless the gall from "I dream of genie" Just poofed your family here wink. Tax Soda, you wont notice that horrible 10 Cents after a month and you will go back to chugging your Mt.Dew and hey now you can take that money they taxed you to go get your Diabetes treatment because you cant take care of your self wink Lower cost:
Regulation of Mal practice
Tax on Soda
Tax those makeweight more than 250k a year
Make insurance companies compete
Alow you to buy insurance from anywhere
Add green renewable energy to every building
Cut wasteful spending
O and Be aware of Dick Morris, Captain of the back stabbing team, he would sell you down river if it meant he could put out another book, like he does every month, ITS CALLED A MAGAZINE DICK, if you want to try and make money off of BS-ing yourself and the Super far right just do a magazine.
Not at all. I'm not going to bother reminding him about how a filibuster works if he completely disregarded it in his reply.
I have a habit of replying in kind to people in the forums. Reasonable posts get reasonable replies. Those that aren't, don't.
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