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Ezra Klein impressed with Baucus' Health Insurance Exchange plan

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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:15 AM
Original message
Ezra Klein impressed with Baucus' Health Insurance Exchange plan
Color me impressed. I've argued before that the Health Insurance Exchanges are the most important piece of health-care reform, and they're being unacceptably weakened and constrained. The House bill, for instance, specifically allows businesses with only 20 or fewer people to join.

Baucus goes quite a bit further. He begins by mandating that businesses with up to 50 employees be allowed to buy into the exchanges. If states want, they can expand that to businesses with 100 employees. There's substantial risk adjustment to make sure that no insurer is gaming the system. At the beginning, for instance, all insurers have to pay into a "reinsurance" fund that compensates those insurers with objectively sicker populations, thus wiping out the incentive to risk select. States can also partner with one another to create regional exchanges, which will have larger risk pools and more bargaining power.

So far, so good. This, however, is where the Baucus plan takes that crucial next step: "In 2017, states must develop and submit to the Secretary a phase-in schedule (not to exceed five years), including applicable rating rules, for incorporating firms with 50 or more (or 100 or more for those states that already included firms with 51-100 employees) into the state exchanges."

In other words, by 2022, the Health Insurance Exchanges will be open to all businesses of all sizes. That's a huge deal. And the first place where I've seen the Baucus bill go substantially further than the other bills.

By Ezra Klein | September 16, 2009; 10:57 AM ET

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/the...
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:18 AM
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1. Right, he's also criticized much of it
For the lack of a public option, the fact that community-rating is barely instituted (they can still discriminate by age, by a factor of 7), and the fact that the subsidies are so low.

He does point out, as you note, that the exchanges are larger, which is good. Hopefully that's a feature we can keep when the bill is amended and merged with the HELP bill.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
6. Yes, he has, and rightfully so.
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flpoljunkie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:12 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. In separate post, Ezra lists the age factor as 5, not 7. Both figures are concerning.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:18 AM
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2. Ezra has become a tool, that's why he came out against the public option the other day
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frazzled Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:26 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. He's never come out against it ... he's only said he could support a bill without it
He does feel all the current public option plans are weak, which is true ... but still says there are good reasons to fight for a public option. You're misunderstanding both what Klein and Krugman have written.
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:29 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. He believes the current public options are weak, but is impressed with Baucus' plan?
Ezra is a tool.
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liberalpragmatist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:50 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. If you read the link, he also criticized the plan in the previous post
He says it's probably unaffordable for families and also says that the regulations are too weak. He's simply saying that one good thing about the bill amidst the bad is that the exchanges are larger.
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
8. At least Max did one thing right in this turd of a bill
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masuki bance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 11:29 AM
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9. Ezra started laying the groundwork for dropping the public option months ago.
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