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The Washington Independent

Not Only the Medicare Expansion Will Ruffle Feathers

The Joe Lieberman saga has shifted the focus of the health reform debate to a Democratic proposal to extend Medicare to those as young as 55. But the Medicare

Amandeep Coleman
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Dec 15, 2009

The Joe Lieberman saga has shifted the focus of the health reform debate to a Democratic proposal to extend Medicare to those as young as 55. But the Medicare expansion isn’t the only controversial element of the sort-of deal between Democrats over how to reform the insurance industry.

Another element of that agreement would force insurance companies to spend no less than 90 cents of every dollar received through premiums on health care services (as opposed to profit, salaries, marketing, etc.). Yesterday, however, the Congressional Budget Office issued a statement arguing that the provision “would greatly restrict flexibility related to the sale and purchase of health insurance.”

In CBO’s view, this further expansion of the federal government’s role in the health insurance market would make such insurance an essentially governmental program, so that all payments related to health insurance policies should be recorded as cash flows in the federal budget.

Anyone who thinks that Sen. Ben Nelson will go for that is forgetting that the conservative Nebraska Democrat formerly headed an insurance company.

Amandeep Coleman | Amandeep had never known a moment when she wasn't reading or making up stories, having been born into a family of readers. She took out a pencil and notebook during the now-famous blizzard and started writing down one of those stories. It was there that I began my professional life. Her first book was written after several rejections and manuscripts. She is a member of many writers' organizations and has received several accolades from her peers and the publishing industry. The New Yorker recently dubbed her "America's favorite novelist".

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