How to “fix” Senate health care proposals

“Deep Stethoscope” passed a little intellegence along on so-called Senate compromises on health care reform. (You would nave to be a “man of a certain age” to understand the historic reference.)

  • We are glad to see people 55 to 64 will get access to a robust public option under Medicare. However, we are deeply disappointed there is not a public option for people under 55.  If a public option is a good idea for people over 55, why isn’t it a good choice for people under 55.  National private insurance plans alone are not a substitute for a public option.  There is a need for the public option to keep private insurance accountable to the people instead of just profits.
  • The Senate bill needs to make sure that health care is really affordable for working families, at the end of the day this is what the bill is about.  Making health care affordable and high quality for everyday people.  This will require employers to pay their fair share and provide good coverage, and includes fair financing instead of taxing high cost plans.
  • A national nonprofit is not a substitute for a public option. Non-profit does not equate to being good for the American people.  Many of today’s nonprofit plans are just as likely as for-profit insurers to raise premiums, evade insurance rules, and divert “excess funds” into their piggybanks instead of customer pockets. As private companies, nonprofits aren’t transparent or publicly-accountable. Half the country now is in nonprofit plans, and they employ the same anti-consumer tactics as the Wall Street-driven for-profit private plans.
  • Adding a collection of plans modeled on Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will overburden a weak government agency, guaranteeing they can’t live up to the job entrusted to them.  The Office of Personnel Management has no record of driving cost containment or needed payment reforms, and does not have the resources to regulate these plans effectively.

When you couple this with some recent polling (see link below), there are now progressive people who oppose the current plans, because they do not go far enough.

The tactic for the Senate should not be to move further to the right, they should be looking for greater improvement and that requires moving to the left.  Including a public option is part of it.  And guess why this really makes sense, because the public favor the public option over the current plan.  The new CNN poll’s internals show that the public option is more popular than the Senate health care proposal by a whopping 17 point difference.  The poll finds that only 36% favor the Senate proposal, versus 61% who oppose it.  By contrast, the poll finds that 53% favor the public option, versus 46% who oppose it.

Thirty-six percent for the Senate bill. Fifty-three percent for the public option.  Not to complex, go back to the public option.

About patlynch
I am a broadcaster in Arkansas, a former freelance writer and political columnist in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Writing Coach. Speaker. Director of the Christian Foundations for Ministry program, and presently enrolled in the Anglican School of Ministry Master of Ministry program.

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