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 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.