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LETTER TO OBAMA: Make public option open to ALL

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:50 AM
Original message
LETTER TO OBAMA: Make public option open to ALL
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 11:58 AM by yurbud
Someone pointed out to me a section of one of Obama's speeches that the public option would only be open to those without insurance, so I wrote this brief letter:

President Obama,

Please make any public option available to all Americans, not just those without health insurance. Otherwise, the rest of us could be stuck with the crappy insurance our employers chose, and that choice likely wasn't based on what was best but what was cheapest or even gave them kickbacks.

Likewise, there should be no mandate to buy or subsidies to pay for private insurance unless their overhead spending (advertising, executive salaries, profits, and those claim denial operators) is limited to 10% as Sen. Feinstein proposed.

We should not reward health insurance companies for their sociopathic behavior that has harmed and even killed so many Americans just to increase their profits by forcing people to become their customers.


Feel free to plagiarize this in communication with the White House or your Congresspeople.
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. off to greatest! nt
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:54 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. thanks!
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DrToast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
3. If Wyden's Free Choice Amendment gets adopted it will be available to everyone
If you get insurance through your employer, they'll have to provide you with a voucher so you can purchase something on the exchange.

The problem is that your employer provided insurance is provided tax-free, whereas insurance on the exchange is purchased with after-tax dollars.

So it may not make financial sense to take advantage of the voucher, but it will be available as an option.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. The tax thing...you sure about that?
That was in Wyden's unique plan I thought (and you get a credit). But with the amendment about the vouchers, are you sure the vouchers are taxable? If so, that sucks, but its better than nothing
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DrToast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. No, I'm not certain
The CBO doesn't think most people would take advantage of it: http://voices.washingtonpost.com/ezra-klein/2009/09/the...

Individuals who buy insurance on the exchange don't get to buy insurance with post-tax dollars, so I'm guessing that's what would happen with the voucher. I don't know for sure, though.
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Im still looking for a clear answer
Other than that, Wyden's plan is a great addition. Not only can people buy into it, but they get a fair portion of the costs covered by their employer (which is a very important aspect to this whole deal)
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BLAKA Donating Member (1 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-24-09 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #3
24. Vouchers in Wyden's Free Choice Amendment has the same tax exclusion as Employer provided insurance

Vouchers in Senator Ron Wyden's Free Choice Amendment has the same tax exclusion as Employer provided insurance.

http://wyden.senate.gov/newsroom/091709free_choice_amen...
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SpartanDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
4. It already is at least in HR 3200
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 12:05 PM by SpartanDem
you can drop your employer coverage just like today. So it's both true it's only open to those without insurace and that it's open to all people.

311. HEALTH COVERAGE PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS.

An employer meets the requirements of this section if such employer does all of the following:

(1) OFFER OF COVERAGE- The employer offers each employee individual and family coverage under a qualified health benefits plan (or under a current employment-based health plan (within the meaning of section 102(b))) in accordance with section 312.

(2) CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS COVERAGE- If an employee accepts such offer of coverage, the employer makes timely contributions towards such coverage in accordance with section 312.

(3) CONTRIBUTION IN LIEU OF COVERAGE- Beginning with Y2, if an employee declines such offer but otherwise obtains coverage in an Exchange-participating health benefits plan (other than by reason of being covered by family coverage as a spouse or dependent of the primary insured), the employer shall make a timely contribution to the Health Insurance Exchange with respect to each such employee in accordance with section 313.
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andym Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
5. I'm glad Senator Feinstein is proposing caps on premiums via limiting overhead
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 12:08 PM by andym
This is an important principle mostly neglected in the current reform effort. I've actually written to her, suggesting more stringent caps and the need to define the minimal care that must be included in every health insurance policy. But I am glad she buys into the cap principle.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. we should cap the execs too
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Oregone Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 12:37 PM
Response to Original message
6. Moreso, it needs to be subsidized (y public or employer) for ALL
Look, if an employer is paying 90% of your private costs, you should be able to switch to the Public Option (EASILY) and have your employer pay at least 90% of the premiums (or whatever is left after need-based subsidization).
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tabbycat31 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. brilliant and sent x4
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
12. It will never happen.
This will never happen.

There will be a public option, but it will never be cost-effective to sign up for it unless you are poor enough to receive federal subsidies to pay for it.

If they made a public option that was cost-competitive with private insurance, people would flee their private insurers in droves. This would be financially disastrous to the health insurance industry.

If they won't let the auto industry or the insurance companies like AIG fail, they are not going to destroy the private health insurance industry.

The public option will be kept priced high so that it is not very attractive to people who already have insurance.

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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. that would cripple obama's presidency, and he doesn't seem stupid
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. By his own words.
By his own words in his last speech on health care, he is not going to destroy the health insurance industry.

Making a government-run public health insurance plan that was cost-competitive with private health insurance would destroy the health insurance industry, as people would flee it in droves for the cheaper option.

They will make sure that the public option is only cost-effective for people receiving a government subsidy, assuming there is a public option at all.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #15
16. I am hoping that he is playing the insurance industry not us
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gorfle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. "master chess player"
I have all but given up on the "master chess player" meme.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:25 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I'll give up on it if he loses the health insurance debate
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 01:58 PM
Response to Original message
14. 10% is A LOT!!! It shoud be 8% MAX on a good year
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 06:15 AM
Response to Original message
19. Most people don't realize how pathetically weak the (non)public (non)option already is
We need nationalized healthcare.

We should have proposed single-payer health insurance.

We could have settled for a real public option.

We're being fooled by a fake public option.

And we may not even get that.

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saracat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. And people seem willing to gobble this up as "progress".
They also overlook the WH deal with big Pharma, that congress is now trying to overturn.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 12:38 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. Obama fell into the usual Democratic trap: STARTING negotiations with what you'll settle for
I don't think their problem is stupidity or cowardice--they are trying to serve two masters, the public and businesses screwing the public.

Much like a judge trying to come up with a ruling that will please both a rape victim and her rapist.
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jgraz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:39 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. Or... they STARTED negotiation by trashing all those dangerous populist ideas
I think that scenario is a lot more likely.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-23-09 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. sadly, you're right--they actually wanted to split the baby from the start...
and knew negotiating with GOP, who have no real power now, would give them an excuse to do even less for us and give even more to insurance companies.
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