I’m generally not in the habit of reading The Huffington Post but this popped up in my news headlines. The analytics must have figured out I’ve been looking for healthcare news.
What I find interesting is even this author is calling the current proposals what they really are and pointing out that they still do nothing to control costs.
None of these requirements for a robust public option remain on the table in Congress. The public option, as passed by the Committees in the House and the HELP Committee in the Senate, don’t require Medicare doctors to accept patients from the public plan, don’t use Medicare pricing but require the plan to negotiate rates on a provider-by-provider basis, require consumers to opt in rather than opt out, and bar employers who currently provide health insurance from switching to the public option over private plans. Even before the House dropped Medicare pricing, the Congressional Budget Office projected that this type of public option would have at most 10 million customers 5 years from now under the House bill and 0 (that’s right 0) customers under the Senate HELP bill, and wouldn’t materially lower insurance costs.
With a robust public option dead, what we’re left with is a massive Democratic-sponsored taxpayer bailout for the insurance and drug industries and a back-door tax on the uninsured middle class. The plan may ban insurance companies from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions (a good thing), but it places no limits on how much they can charge.
The author goes on to point out that the timing of any reforms may be purposely set to occur AFTER the next presidential election.
So if the GOP doesn’t like this, and the DEMS don’t like this, then who exactly does? The GOP says it goes too far and the DEMS say it doesn’t go far enough….so why the hell are we still talking about it? Is it time for a reset? And are we still going to be discussing this if the situation with Iran changes quickly in the coming weeks?