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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:18 PM
Original message
Would a _national_ co-op be possible?
I am definitely for the Public Option. But I also am a political pragmatist who wonders if we can get everything we want right now.

I also think state/regional co-ops are rubbish ideas. There's no competition there that would bring down health insurance costs.

So how about a National Co-op? Is it possible? Would it work?

I want to see decent health care reform pass.

But I wonder if we would be better off in the long run if we didn't get a weakened Public Option that Republicans could point to, saying again "See, government wasn't the answer"... and instead have a national co-op that we could use as a test, and if that test doesn't solve enough of the problem of the uninsured and competition, then move toward a Public Option or maybe even Single Payer.

Look, I really don't want to compromise on a strong Public Option. But as I'm a freelancer, I sure would like to have affordable individual coverage. And not have to wait much longer to get it.

Thoughts?
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Phoebe Loosinhouse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. IF there are co-ops it would be better if they were national because
economic benefits are directly related to scale.

A National Small Business co-op is a heck of a lot better than a RI Small Business Co-op.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
2. No - only two coops have worked and dozens have failed


We would have to start from the begining again when we have medicare that works on 6% overhead.



There is a reason they want coops and if there was a strong national coop they would work to sabotage it.



Adding a public option is an important gateway to eventually get single payer. Coops are a concession that we agree that 'government doesn't work'.



Why do we need to experiment on a coop when we know that medicare works?



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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. The short answer is health insurance companies don't want to be driven out of business.
Their profits are paramount, not the health of people they are supposed to cover.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:30 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. Because it's a political solution.
I don't think acceptance of a national co-op admits anything but political reality. Democrats could simply say, "The votes aren't there yet for a government-run insurance option. Simple as that. Maybe after the 2010 elections. Hint, hint."

If the private health insurers work to sabotage a national co-op, then most of that would be on record, and then in 2011, a public option or single payer would have a much greater chance of sailing through, on top of the other reforms we will have just put into place this year.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #11
15. Yes it is a political solution meant to sabotage the evolution to single payer.


A public option will work and show that the government can perform the function more efficiently and with greater public interest than the private sector.


More people will join the public option. More politicians will want to expand it.


Eventually a universal single payer system will be introduced that people can add with private supplemental insurance.


Your scenario that their sabotage would be immediately clear is dellusional. They would say that it just needs a little more time and tweak it here and there for another 30 years.



Let's get one thing straight:


Public Option is the Compromise





If they don't want to compromise with the public option then fine we can go bact to single payer, if we can't pass public option then no fucking bill.

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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. It _was_ the compromise, I'm afraid (and I feel sick about it)
But who's not to say that a National Co-op isn't a step toward Single Payer?
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. I am - a coop is meant to reinforce the idea that government is bad
and that if we are just reasonable then we will find a better alternative.

The facts are the facts.


We have a better alternative - medicare for all. Governments all around the world and have basically come up with the same approach (with some variations) of a single payer.


Now if they think that coops will work better than the public option fine - we are not outlawing coops.


It will be a private option/public option/coop option. But in the end almost everyone will pick the public option.


They are not proposing to ADD coops - coops are already legal (just not practical - coops are owned by the members - a national coop would have 10 million 'owners')they are trying to STOP public option (medicare) from expanding and wiping out predatory companies that work a government sanctioned monopoly that is not a free market solution.


I am for free markets - that is why I am for single payer. As an analogy think of the airports - run by the government so that private airlines can compete in providing a service - that is what single payer is creating an architecture that will allow hospitals, clinics and medical providers to compete in a free market.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #20
29. No, it's a statement that the votes aren't there. That's all. n/t
n/t
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. As this news article points out that the current bill without a public option would be a 'bonanza'
for health insurance companies

Without a public option health insurance reform becomes a scam - the government will be coercing people to buy private insurance.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. I agree with your position. But....
I wonder if a national co-op would also essentially work like a public option so that nobody is forced to buy from a private insurer.
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lovepg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:22 PM
Response to Original message
3. You mean like where we all put our money into a big fund to help pay for ..
everyones health care? Sounds like single payer to me.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. But what if it got 60 votes in the Senate so those damned blue dogs could...
save political face, and we get a reform package through?
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subcomhd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #3
9. But I would assume
the directors would be directly elected instead of appointed by the legislative branch. That's how co-ops work, you elect the leaders.
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vicman Donating Member (373 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
5. It's all rather moot because Republicans are now saying...
they won't vote for "co-ops (whatever in hell they might be)" either.

Democrats have to give the Republicans all that they demand in order to be "bipartisan."

That's the only way it ever works, don't cha know.................
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:26 PM
Response to Reply #5
7. But the blue dogs and the Maine Republicans might go for it. n/t
n/t
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:26 PM
Response to Original message
8. Co op is cop out.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
12. It's political realism that buys us time. Try to see it from that perspective. n/t
n/t
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
10. Media Matters addresses co-ops
Edited on Sun Aug-23-09 09:32 PM by mmonk
Scroll down to it. http://mediamatters.org/print/research/200908200002
Myth number 10
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. That's not a national co-op... it's Conrad's stupid idea of regional co-ops. n/t
n/t
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #13
18. I don't think a national co op plan is on the table.
My question is why not have a public option? Why must we scrap it?
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #18
23. I would prefer the public option not be scrapped.
However, there's also a political reality. I was just wondering if a national co-op might be something that would win passage of health care reform. Maybe something like that will have to be placed on the table if we reach a total stalemate with regards to the public option.
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Eric J in MN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:44 PM
Response to Original message
14. Executives at non-profits can receive huge salaries.
One of the main advantages of the public option is that the administrators couldn't be paid more than the president (as with all federal employees.) So premiums would go to health care, not to huge salaries.

But with the co-ops, whether regional or national, the premiums probably would go to pay executives huge salaries.

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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. I don't like to have to compromise.
Compromise is painful. I just wanted to throw the idea out to see if it's workable.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
19. THEY will not allow a
NATIONAL co-op. That would endanger insurance industry profits.
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #19
27. How do we know they wouldn't allow it? n/t
n/t
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #27
31. Just watch and see.
A national co-op would be nearly as threatening to the insurance industry as the public option. Restricted to a state co-op subscribers would be limited to a few hundred per state and no threat.
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grantcart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 10:54 PM
Response to Original message
22. Dr Dean explains why there is "nothing to it"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgWDVCfl-Ok


The only two coops that have worked, one in MN and one in WA have only succeeded by owning their own facilities and are restricted geographically. Rural areas or any area that didn't hav atleast 600,000 members would not have enough of a mass that would have its own infrastructure.


Here are details on the limitations of cooops

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/grantcart/202


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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. I said *national* co-op. n/t
n/t
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
24. Who would run it? n/t
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:34 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. I assume it would have to be a national non-profit organization. n/t
n/t
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
30. It would if dealing with Democrats wasn't like herding cats.
Single payer doesn't have to be done by the government. Who has the knowledge to form a non-profit on a national scale like this? It sure would give us some clout to drop our insurance companies, but I have a feeling they would play the same dirty tricks to make it fail that they are now playing on us at the town halls.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 04:48 PM
Response to Original message
32. With a whole new agency, packed with government employees to babysit it?
Damn them all for making this harder than it has to be..

50+ buy into medicare for a fee
birth to 25..stay on parent's policy or buy private (with income adjusted subsidy)
26-49..private (or a real public option) with income adjusted subsidy

no pre-existing condition exclusions allowed
if an employer pays part, they have to SHOW the employee the real figures for what the boss pays

every 5 years , 5 years comes off the medicare buy in age..eventually we'd all be on it..
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