Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.
The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Plenty of Barriers to That Senate Public-Option Deal

Democratic leaders have been busy patting themselves on the back this morning following the tentative deal struck last night between liberal and conservative

Hajra Shannon
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 09, 2009

Democratic leaders have been busy patting themselves on the back this morning following the tentative deal struck last night between liberal and conservative Democrats over how to approach the public option. Details remain purposefully thin while the Congressional Budget Office crunches the cost estimate, but the various elements of the plan that have been reported leave plenty of reason to think the proposal has a tough road ahead.

  • The deal is not really a deal, but simply an agreement to send a blueprint to the CBO. Even some members of the “gang of 10″ that negotiated the proposal are already voicing their discontent.

  • The strategy reportedly eliminates an immediate public option, instead creating a trigger that would launch a public plan if private companies don’t meet certain cost and coverage benchmarks. That could lure the support of Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), but liberal Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Roland Burris (D-Ill.) have hinged their backing for the overall bill on the inclusion of a strong and immediate public option. And Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) has said in no uncertain terms that he’ll filibuster a bill that contains such a trigger.

  • The strategy reportedly keeps the plan’s administrative responsibilities in the hands of private companies. It’s unclear what this means, exactly, but if the companies will be tasked with screening claims, they have every incentive to deny needed services for the sake of generating profits and rewarding shareholders. Indeed, fixing that problem was one of the central reasons to reform the health care system to begin with.

  • The strategy reportedly would force insurers to spend at least 90 cents of every premium dollar on health care services — as opposed to administration, marketing and salaries. That’s sure to be attacked by the powerful insurance lobby, not to mention conservative lawmakers who don’t want the government dictating the business practices of private companies. Indeed, a similar proposal was withdrawn in the Senate Finance Committee earlier in the year.

  • The plan reportedly would expand Medicare to allow folks aged 55 to 64 to buy in. Again, it’s unclear how patient cost-sharing and provider reimbursements would be structured, but if reimbursement mirrors that of the current Medicare program, it could lead to care access issues for those patients. Doctors have long complained that Medicare reimbursement is too low, and many providers don’t see Medicare patients at all.

For all these reasons, Democrats were smart to withhold the details of their plan, which allows them to tweak it as is necessary to keep costs down. For now, though, the ball is in CBO’s court.

Hajra Shannon | Hajra Shannon has been assisting clients with writing difficulties for over four years. She will help with ghost writing, coaching, and ghost editing. Her experience in family science and journalism has provided her with a strong foundation from which to approach a variety of topics. She loves writing resumes for people who are changing professions in particular.


Pentagon Shooter Exploited Gun-Show Loophole

John Patrick Bedell, who shot and wounded two police officers near the Pentagon earlier this month, bought at least one of his 9 mm guns at a Nevada gun show,

MA-Sen: 150 Conservative Bloggers Fan Out, Looking for Scandals

BOSTON -- The mysterious Election Journal blog, which first released the infamous 2008 video of two bumbling New Black Panther Party members waving nightsticks

MA-Sen: Brown Wins

BOSTON -- At 9:20, the first rumors of Scott Brown’s victory in the Massachusetts Senate race started to work around the room. A moment later, Doug Flutie

MA-Sen: 66 to 19

BOSTON -- That, via Alex Isenstadt and Josh Kraushaar, is the number that defined the Massachusetts Senate race more than anything else. From the primary

MA-Sen: A Text Message From Scott Brown

BOSTON -- Having signed up for Scott Brown’s text message service for election day, I just got this text: Are you about to have lunch? It’s a great time to

MA-Sen: Out-of-Staters for Brown

BOSTON -- A surprising discovery at yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester was just how many people had traveled into the state to assist, in whatever way,

MA-Sen Photos: ‘Paint the Town Red! Croakley’s Dead!’

Below are some photos of yesterday’s People’s Rally in Worcester, the rally that Brown held to counter-program the Obama rally in Boston. The crush of

Menendez, Lautenberg to Continue BP-Lockerbie Investigation

Sens. Robert Menendez and Frank Lautenberg, both New Jersey Democrats, will continue to seek details about BP’s alleged involvement in the release last year of

Net Investors Bullish on Palin’s Prospects for Staying on Ticket

Just for fun, the Internet prediction Website Intrade has opened a contract on whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will be withdrawn as McCain’s running mate.

No Experience Necessary

Gov. Sarah Palin’s a middle-class hockey mom, but does that really qualify her to be vice president?

© Copyright 2021 The Washington Independent All Rights Reserved

Terms & Privacy |

Click here to check the ultimate guide to learn how to leverage your PC and internet to make money online.