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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 10:50 PM
Original message
The Incredible Shrinking Public Health Insurance Option
The story of how our previously promised public health insurance option shrunk from an option that was originally supposed to be offered to ALL Americans, to one in which less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up, as our President said in his September 9th address to Congress, is an incredible one. In this post Ill discuss how that happened, possible reasons why less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up, and what it is likely to mean to the American people if we are unable to pressure Congress and our President to expand the public health insurance option to its original form.


A brief recent history of the public health insurance option

The unveiling of the public health insurance option by the major 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates
In February of 2007, with the unveiling of John Edwards health plan, Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman wrote an editorial about it, titled Edwards Gets it Right. He began by saying that promises of universal health insurance dont mean much unless accompanied by specific details. He likened rhetoric without details to George Bushs promises of compassionate conservatism. Then he went on to describe the Edwards plan, singling out the public health insurance option (without using those words) as the crucially important and unique aspect of the plan:

People who don't get insurance from their employers wouldn't have to deal individually with insurance companies: they'd purchase insurance through "Health Markets": government-run bodies negotiating with insurance companies on the public's behalf. People would, in effect, be buying insurance from the government

Why is this such a good idea? "Health Markets will offer a choice between private insurers and a public insurance plan modeled after Medicare." This would offer a crucial degree of competition. The public insurance plan would almost certainly be cheaper than anything the private sector offers right now after all, Medicare has very low overhead. Private insurers would either have to match the public plan's low premiums, or lose the competition.

And Mr. Edwards is O.K. with that. Over time the system may evolve toward a single-payer approach if individuals and businesses prefer the public plan. So this is a smart, serious proposal. It addresses both the problem of the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system.

Then in May of 2007, Barack Obama came out with a similar plan, which Krugman characterized as a comprehensive health care plan that had a lot to commend it, though he said it was a little weaker than the Edwards plan. This later became the Obama-Biden plan (no longer available on-line), which I described in a 2008 post:

The Obama-Biden plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals purchase new affordable health care options if they are uninsured or want new health insurance. Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale tax credits will be provided for people and families who need it.

Then in September, Senator Clinton came out with her plan, which Krugman characterized as almost identical to the Edwards plan. He prophetically summed up the situation as follows:

Even if the Democrats take the White House and expand their Congressional majorities, the insurance and drug lobbies will try to bully them into backing down on their campaign promises. Its good to know that whoever gets the Democratic nomination will run on a very good health care plan. What remains is the question of whether he or she will have the determination to turn that plan into reality.

Attack on the public health insurance option
No sooner did President Obama begin to push for his public health insurance option plan than he and his plan were met with a barrage of incredible propaganda and lies, emanating from the private health insurance industry, and distributed by their bought-and-paid-for politicians, along with their incredibly ignorant right wing followers.

The public health insurance option was a plan to provide Americans an alternative choice to their private health insurance plans, or for those who currently lacked health insurance, to provide them with the means to purchase it. In other words, they would be given the option of replacing a private system whose primary purpose was the accumulation of profits with a public one whose primary purpose was to make affordable health care available to all Americans.

But the insurance industry propaganda machine simply turned reality upside down. Instead of a choice, the public option became government run health care that would be forced on the American people. Instead of making health care affordable to the American people, the public option became a plan to ration health care and kill old people. Somehow the insurance industry propaganda machine successfully caused millions of Americans to forget that private health insurance companies ration health care routinely, even when it means denying coverage to customers who paid premiums to them for years without reaping any benefit. Consequently, the private health insurance industry, their politician-whores, and their crazy right wing ideologue followers ranted and raved about the SOCIALISM, DEATH PANELS, and TYRANNY that would plague our nation if the Obama plan to make health care affordable to the American people ever became a reality.

President Obamas reaction
One would hope that the lies and propaganda would be met with a full scale effort to counter them. Instead, when President Obama gave his long awaited televised speech to Congress on September 9th, he backed almost completely away from the public health insurance option, while attempting to maintain an aura of continuing to back it:


An additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. (Applause.) Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up.

Gone was the health care plan that candidate Obama offered during his run for the presidency. The plan that was touted as being available to EVERYONE is now available only to those who currently dont have health insurance. And just as bad, only 5% of the American people are expected to sign up for it.

To sum up what happened: In order to allay the fears of the extreme right wing that a public health insurance option would tyrannize the American people by taking away their choice to have the health care they want, were now told that the choice of a public health insurance option will be available to less than 5% of the American people. Wow!


Why are only 5% of Americans expected to sign up for a public option?

Obama did not explain why only 5% of Americans would sign up for the plan. But in order to evaluate what he is offering we would do well to consider why only 5% of Americans would be expected to sign up for this plan that was previously promised to all Americans.

Ineligibility of large numbers of Americans
We know at least part of the reason why so few Americans would sign up for the plan. Obama made it clear in his speech that It would only be an option for those who dont have insurance. But that cant be the whole reason. There are 46 million Americans who currently have no health insurance. Thats about 15% of the U.S. population. Obama said in his speech that he expects less than 5% to sign up. The difference is 10% of the U.S. population or 30 million Americans.

Why is it that those 30 million Americans wont sign up? Could it be that the plan will not be available to many of those people? Will there be restrictions on eligibility in addition to the current possession of private health insurance? Or.

An inferior plan
Common sense tells us that a public health insurance option should be far less expensive and of much better quality (that is, better coverage and less denial of claims) than private for-profit health insurance. Much of the premiums collected by private health insurance companies go towards advertising and marketing costs, lobbying costs, profits for their investors, multimillion dollar salaries for their CEOs, and administrative and legislative costs aimed at enabling them to deny claims. After all that, how much is left to cover the health care claims of their customers? A government health insurance plan would not be burdened by all that. It would therefore have much more money available for health care which is the purpose of health insurance. So why on earth would less than 15 million Americans out of 46 million who currently have no health insurance choose a private plan over a presumably superior quality public plan?

Well, the fact that government has the potential to offer an inexpensive and high quality plan doesnt mean that it will. Perhaps the plan that Obama spoke of would be much more expensive and of worse quality than it could be. An analysis by Kip Sullivan of two bills that are currently under consideration in Congress supports that theory:

The option in both bills will be a balkanized program. The options in both bills will be administered by private-sector corporations, some or all of which will be insurance companies. The option in neither bill resembles Medicare.


What will be the consequences of a public option that covers only 5% of us?

Greater expense and less coverage
Since private health insurance is much more expensive than government health insurance, that means that the shrinking of the public option to 5% will of necessity result in one of three very serious problems, or more likely by a combination of those three problems: Either it will: 1) be far more expensive; 2) cover far fewer people; or 3) cover far less health care for those who have insurance than a plan that contains a strong public option would.

There is no getting around this. It is simple arithmetic. Those who complain about the expense of a public option are woefully ignorant or they are hypocrites. Private health insurance is far more expensive than public insurance needs to be, for reasons I mentioned above.

And lets be clear about this. The value of a strong public option plan pertains to far more Americans than just those who are currently uninsured. There are many tens of millions of Americans who are under-insured. The bottom line is that, in addition to 46 million Americans who have no health insurance at all, many tens of millions of additional Americans have health insurance that fails to cover them when they most desperately need health care. And lest this is not obvious, consider the following:

Researchers from the California Nurses Association/National Nurses Organizing Committee analyzed data reported by the insurers to the California Department of Managed Care. From 2002 through June 30, 2009, the six insurers rejected 45.7 million claims 22 percent of all claims.

The end result is that private health insurance is much more expensive and of lower quality than it needs to be. For example, a survey of insured Americans in 2002 demonstrated the following problems in their family due to a family members inability to get the health care they needed:

Long term disability: 14%
Significant loss of time at important activities: 21%
Painful temporary disability: 36%
Seriously increased stress: 58%

Subsidizing the private insurance industry
It should be obvious that a public health insurance option that only 5% of Americans sign up for will not provide the competition to the private insurance industry that candidate Obama promised his plan would. And not only would this new plan relieve the private insurance industry of the competition they were threatened with.

In addition, the new plan would mandate that many tens of millions of Americans purchase health insurance from private health insurance companies. Many Americans who purchase private health insurance under this plan would receive subsidies from the U.S. government to do so in which case our government would be subsidizing the insurance industry at taxpayer expense. That could add greatly to the wealth of the private health insurance industry which would further increase their power to influence legislation, perhaps resulting in a vicious cycle.


The bottom line

I dont see how an option that covers only 5% of Americans will be of much help, and as I discussed above, it has the potential to do much harm. Why the need for all this compromise with the private insurance industry, the Republican Party, and crazy right wing ideologues? Why should they be allowed to benefit from all their lies and propaganda? Ill finish this post with excerpts from a recent editorial in The Nation, which speaks of the folly of trying to appease those who wont be appeased:

We hope the president, his Congressional allies and millions of Americans will be inspired to honor and do battle for Kennedy's lifelong cause. Surely Obama knows that the Senate's fighting liberal would not have put the fate of the nation's healthcare into the hands of private insurance companies, which increase their quarterly earnings by denying people care. Reform is not possible without a public alternative to the private companies, one based on coverage for all and quality care rather than profit

Obama often speaks of his desire to get beyond the partisan divide, but what good is bipartisanship at this moment? The Republican Party does not simply want to criticize or modify Democratic healthcare proposals. It is determined to cripple or kill reform, and with it Obama's presidency It's high time for Obama to part ways with the Party of No, which has been stoking outlandish fears about government "death panels" and "socialism"

If the Dems put forth a watered-down "bipartisan" bill with no public option, they will be justly blamed for its inevitable failure and will see ugly results in the 2010 midterm elections. If, on the other hand, Republicans manage to defeat a good bill, let them try to explain themselves to midterm voters, who will still be at the mercy of Big Insurance and Big Pharma.

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Sep-17-09 11:52 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thank you - "...it has the potential to do much harm..."
Agreed...If there is not a competitive public option, but mandates to buy insurance, this could be harmful down the road.

Health Care For America

"Jacob Hacker's "Health Care for America" plan offers a realistic path to universal coverage for all American citizens."

3 minute video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-J9ZgCRiD8


"CAF Blog Chronicles Impact of Hacker "Health Care for America Plan" on the Evolution of the Edwards and Obama Health Proposals

Health Care for America

http://www.ourfuture.org/files/documents/evolution-of-t...

By Roger Hickey on January 11, 2007 - 4:14pm.

"The great debate over how to fundamentally fix our broken health care system just got a lot more interesting.
Today, the Economic Policy Institute released the Health Care for America plan a simple yet sophisticated approach crafted by Jacob Hacker, author of The Great Risk Shift. Health Care for America, which you can find at www.sharedprosperity.org, comprehensively tackles the major health care problems holding back our society and economy: the 46 million uninsured, the skyrocketing costs and the uneven quality.

My organization, Campaign for Americas Future, will be launching a nationwide effort to discuss and debate how to get good healthcare coverage for all Americans while controlling spiraling health care costs. The best way to start that debate is to put a simple, clear and progressive health care plan on the table. Health Care for America is that plan, and it will be a benchmark by which all other plans can be judged.

How? By creating a Medicare-style system for all Americans under 65. The uninsured and underinsured could buy into the Health Care for America plan, with federal or state government assistance if necessary. Medicare and Health Care for America would then join forces and wield enormous bargaining power, driving down costs and raising the bar on quality..."




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Libertas1776 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The Incredible Shrinking...hey, I saw that movie
Oh, wait.


No, but seriously, that pathetic little "option" that they have been peddling is nothing short of a bad joke. This is why we need Medicare for ALL!
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. Rep. Weiner agrees that the PO is weak and watered down...
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
17. Thank you for the links
It's amazing to me that more people haven't picked up on how Obama has turned away from the public option that he ran his campaign on.
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 01:42 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. Me too and the mainstream media ignores this as well...
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 01:43 PM by slipslidingaway
appropriate...

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

"The Public Option - It's Got Electrolytes...
If you haven't seen Idiocracy, you may want to watch this scene...

Almost everyone is demanding a Public Option. Too damn few have any idea what it is or what's in the various bills."

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1fKzw05Q5A


In edit...you're welcome and Thank You for putting this together!






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grahamhgreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 12:42 AM
Response to Original message
3. Say NO to the PAY OR PUNISH CRAPSURANCE OPTION! Let's get back to Single Payer, Medicare for All
http://pnhp.org

The Obama bipartisan dog done died and he aint coming back. He's gone.
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
DaLittle Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:55 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. ExceptioNAL Post! Giving The Credit Where Credit Is Due To Edwards Is True And Accurate! K &R!
You've GOttit RIGHT! :think: :nuke:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
24. Thank you -- I was very sad when Edwards dropped out of the race
I do believe that if he was president he would stand up to the powers that be, and we would be in much better shape.
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DaLittle Kitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 02:47 PM
Response to Reply #24
35. That's WHY he WAS "TURFED!"
Edwards Was not Corporate!
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:26 AM
Response to Original message
5. How is this incredible? It happens to be about the eighteenth if not
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 02:26 AM by truedelphi
The nineteenth or even twentieth time that Barack Obama has broken a campaign promise.

He's a great and mesmerizing orator. He just isn't very good at keeping promises.
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:20 AM
Response to Reply #5
15. Fool me Once shame on you
fool me 18 times, shame on me. There are 2 definitions of liars: those who lie when the words first come out, or those who break promises. With Mr. Obama, it seems, we need not decide which. Simply put, he lied to us and continues to do so.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. + 1 and n/t
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Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #5
26. http://www.politifact.com/ truth-o-meter /promises/browse/
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #26
29. That is some data base. And I appreciate the time
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 06:24 PM by truedelphi
You took to publish it. I will attempt to work my way through each of those, I promise.

But of course, at this moment, I have only had time to look over the first fifty that are listed.

one comment: he gets credit for a program as "promise kept" even if the program ends up being lackluster. For example - the ten billion offered to people who are in danger of losing their home. Only nine per cent of people were able to utilize the program, so he gets credit for keeping the promise, but it is hard to think of giving him MUCH credit as in the end there weren't many who benefitted.

And all the elements in the data base are weighted the same - so that offering some many billions towards bridge repairs is the same as abolishing CAFTA. How does one (or how would one) decide that his failure to do one item makes up for the accomplishment of another item? If he escalates the war in Afghanistan greatly, but does end the Altrernative Minumum tax, is one as important as the other?

In the end, it is his appointments of Ggeithner and Bernanke that will end up meaning the most. They have created a jobless recovery, (a supposed recovery, I should add) for an economy that relies on its consumer base to do some serious spending. Which we cannot do, because of the lack of jobs.


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Skittles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #5
27. I feel that some promises are made in good faith and then cannot be kept
like was intended.......but I'm having real trouble with Obama's misses - they are huge
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 06:09 PM
Response to Reply #27
28. That is one of my problems too - his misses are so HUGE.
And all too often, there is always that aspect of Orwellian double speak.

He seems to be that kind of fella that tells a girl that if she spends the night with him, he'll think about marrying her. And he looks so sweet and smiles so sincerely that she hears it as "I will marry you."

But then he plays the video capture on his cell phone and it is very clear - he would merely "think" about the idea of marriage.

His standing with me was not helped by his feeding the RW frenzy this year and running around making nice with the RW nut cases at the Town Hall Meetings. Meanwhile he wouldn't meet with the progressive leadership that often - he was too busy with the RW folks.

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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:39 AM
Response to Original message
7. It's not about appeasement.
It's about health insurers being part of the process and paying people in office. Ultimately, it's about them being more important than us.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:12 AM
Response to Reply #7
9. I think it's a combination of both, and there is often a very thin line between them
Certainly Obama wants to win over the center and as much of the right as he can. That has been obvious since he announced his candidacy for president, if not before. His book, "The Audacity of Hope", is full of appeals to the center and right, as in his quasi-praise for Ronald Reagan and in his talk of religion. His failure to prosecute the Bush administration for their crimes is certainly about appeasement IMO, rather than a payback for money.

I'm sure that for many of our Congresspersons it is mainly about receiving money from the health insurance industry. A statistical analysis of association between the current support for the public option and receipt of money from the insurance industry shows that money from the insurance industry predicts about 61% of the likelihood of support for the public option. But that still leaves plenty of room for other influences.

I really don't think that Obama needs money from the insurance industry that badly. But he does need the support of the corporate news media. He needs that badly, and I believe he has done a great deal to appease them in his quest for their support. In some respects I feel sympathy for his need for their support. He is faced with widespread racial hatred that no other president has had to face. If he loses what support of the corporate news media he currently has, his presidency could turn to ashes. But still, his appeasement of them turns my stomach, and I think it will be a losing strategy in the long run.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 05:36 PM
Response to Reply #9
36. I know that his strategy has lost the support of this household.
And I really no lnger have any doubt that he is out for himself and not for us.

He fed that wild feeding frenzy all summer, by visiting the Town Hall meetings, and meanwhile, people who had once been close to him were locked out of any discussions - including the man who had been his own personal physician.

If he spent half as much time on the progressives in Congress as he does with the Wing nuts, I'd temper my anger. But he doesn't seem to have any use for the progressives - just the RW!
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
8. If this is what will eventually pass both houses of Congress ...... "we're screwn" nt
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:30 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R. Sadly, you're telling it like it seems to be.
It also saddened me to hear President Obama say, after the audience cheered when he mentioned the public option in his speech to the university crowd yesterday, that it would be open to "those who do not have insurance." I was wondering then how long I would need to go uninsured to qualify. When should I drop my expensive (for me) high deductible plan in order to be on the exclusive list that can qualify for the public option?

I hope there is something we are not seeing. With massive evidence of GOP intransigence, I keep hoping to see growing evidence of Democratic courage to resist. That can be done in a calm manner like Rep. Anthony Weiner's approach-- "we have a public health insurance system right now that is working, and it is called Medicare."

I am continuing to write my congressional reps in favor of a strong public option like expanding Medicare to all who want it. My naive wish is that the Democrats would respond to the shameless professional bullying with a bold act like that-- giving us a strong public option open to all.

In spite of Democrats' foolish decision to take Single Payer, the strongest option, off the table before debates had even begun, right wing donors and corporations went ahead and retained right wing PR firms that have stirred up dangerous, broadly anti-government, anti-Obama sentiments in order to protect their private profits. In these times of economic upheaval and suffering for millions, the right and corporations that fund them proceeded to gin up really destructive emotions in vulnerable populations to keep things as close to the cruel status quo as possible.

I had hoped exposing that would give Democrats the courage to say-- "Enough is Enough! We can't reward the professional bullying by excluding an effective public option open to all who choose it or the Right will use the same tactics on the next initiative for change our country desperately needs. They've already begun to stir up 'Energy Citizens' against carbon cap & trade legislation. Let's send them a strong message that professional bullying won't work."

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Echo In Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Yes, the intentionally fuzzy language re who 'qualifies' for the PO is unfortunately quite telling
... and what it's saying doesn't look so hot. If it were otherwise, why such careful diligence in the verbiage/script writing, as to dance around a crucial point that they'd obviously rather not spend any more time with publicly than they're already being forced to?
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. I long for an unequivocal "public option for all who choose it" at least.
Even though I most want "Medicare for All."

Excluding people from the public option will cause even more resentment in the millions of us just barely hanging on, unemployed and under-insured, too young for Medicare, not poor enough for Medicaid.

How desperate do the people have to get before the Democratic Party puts their needs ahead of those of corporate donors?
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 01:25 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. Look -- the words "Democratic" and "courage" should not even be in the same
Edited on Fri Sep-18-09 01:26 PM by truedelphi
Sentence.

Unless you are talking about Teddy Kennedy. Who unfortunately was just buried.

There is one party -- the money party. When Obama raced around this summer to feed the frenzy of RW rabel rousing, it was pretty clear what this Administration was about.

In future years, historians will say, "Why the hell weren't people in the USA out in the streets during the summer of 2009?" And the shame of it is - we all should have been out there. Not just the tea baggers - all of us.

But the notion that perhaps we would be offered health insurance kept many of us chained to our phones and fax machines, thinking we could find some "courage" among the sold-to-the-higher bidder Senate and House.

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inna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:02 PM
Response to Reply #18
22. i could not agree with you (and the OP) more. KR+27.

As far as I'm concerned, we should be marching on Washington in a million-plus people march demanding Universal Health Care for all Americans, starting at birth and funded by taxation (something that every single industrialized nation EXCEPT US takes for granted). No other industrialized country treats its citizens in such a way (as if we are mindless, brainless sheep and nothing but fodder for out-of-control private profits). How we let them get away with this is incomprehensible.


:(

:grr:


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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 09:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
40. Exactly-why are we letting them get away with this?!
:argh:
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #18
39. +1000
Edited on Mon Sep-21-09 09:14 PM by earth mom
:thumbsup:
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 02:46 PM
Response to Reply #11
21. Yes, it's very sad
I think at this point that the only hope is that there is enough pressure from the American people to convince certain key Congresspersons to change their minds. But I don't even think that the American people are informed enough to do that. I get the impression that way to many progressives who heard Obama's address to Congress feel that it indicated support for a decent public option plan.
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Sep-19-09 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #21
34. Shall our signs say -- "Public Option Open to All" ?
I think the GOP would love to see a limited public option. One that squeezes the remnants of our middle class. Too poor to afford the "reasonable coverage" on the insurance exchange and "too rich" to get the public option. That would really stimulate the "I'm not your ATM" anger against those damn community organizing liberals.

77% of us want a public option now. Maybe our signs should read--

77% Say Yes
Public Option
Open to All

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-20-09 11:13 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. Yes. That makes a lot more sense than
saying "public option" without any indication of how many people are eligible for it. I thought it was understood that 'public option' meant public option for all. It's a meaningless term if it can be taken to mean that it is only available to a minority of our citizens.
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debbierlus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:22 AM
Response to Original message
12. A public option would be one where the public could enroll in it


We should have fought for single payer from day 1. We need to shake out of our reverie and fight. This is SO important.

SCREW the health insurance companies and their profits!
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placton Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. Mr. Obama lied to us and we
bought into it - and did not fight for public option. Those of us who predicted this were shouted down on DU. Guess we were right, eh?
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 03:40 PM
Response to Original message
23. Obama was telling the truth.
The Public Option is indeed a "tiny sliver".

I still want to see the nuts and bolts of this mysterious "Exchange".
Why must the Public Option be administered by an "Exchange" and not directly by the US Government?
This only adds another layer of administrative costs.


http://pnhp.org/blog/2009/09/13/sullivan-publicoptionin...
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brightertomorrow Donating Member (57 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
25. If you like your insurance you can keep it
and without a public option for all, if you don't like your insurance you can keep it too. Not much of a change without a strong public option, at least for us. Without the public option FOR ALL we get to keep our lousy insurance that does nothing but deny, deny, deny. Our insurance is coming between us and our DR as she isn't on their so called list. I so want the public option to be available for anyone that wants to sign up for it. That would be REAL reform.
Thank you for posting this. Great post!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #25
30. Thank you
And welcome to DU :toast:
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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
31. Evening kick...
as this is not a popular topic.

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unkachuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
32. K&R....n/t
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Frank Booth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-18-09 10:45 PM
Response to Original message
33. Very good job.
:kick:
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 09:03 PM
Response to Original message
38. Edwards' plan was horrible
here, and it lacked a plan for catastrophic care.


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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-21-09 09:25 PM
Response to Original message
41. The public option did not shrink
It was intended to cover the uninsured and employees who cannot get coverage through their employers. The 5 percent was an estimate, but reform will provide coverage for the uninsured who are among the employed

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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #41
43. Link to the Obama-Biden plan with the wording...
showing that the PO would have been open to a larger group of people.

The original language clearly states that the PO would be open to people who want new insurance, as well as the uninsured, and that every American will have the opportunity to enroll in a public plan or a private plan.


http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPla...

"...(2) NEW AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS. The Obama-Biden plan will create a
National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals purchase new affordable health care options if they are uninsured or want new health insurance. Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale tax credits will be provided for people and families who need it..."



September 9th speech...

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-t... /

"...So let me set the record straight here. My guiding principle is, and always has been, that consumers do better when there is choice and competition. That's how the market works. (Applause.) Unfortunately, in 34 states, 75 percent of the insurance market is controlled by five or fewer companies. In Alabama, almost 90 percent is controlled by just one company. And without competition, the price of insurance goes up and quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly -- by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest, by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage, and by jacking up rates...

...Now, I have no interest in putting insurance companies out of business. They provide a legitimate service, and employ a lot of our friends and neighbors. I just want to hold them accountable. (Applause.) And the insurance reforms that I've already mentioned would do just that. But an additional step we can take to keep insurance companies honest is by making a not-for-profit public option available in the insurance exchange. (Applause.) Now, let me be clear. Let me be clear. It would only be an option for those who don't have insurance. No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates, we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would sign up..."



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slipslidingaway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-22-09 10:25 AM
Response to Original message
42. Link...Obama-Biden plan ...
Edited on Tue Sep-22-09 10:32 AM by slipslidingaway
http://www.barackobama.com/pdf/issues/HealthCareFullPla...

Correction, bottom of page 5

"...(2) NEW AFFORDABLE, ACCESSIBLE HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS. The Obama-Biden plan will create a
National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals purchase new affordable health care options if they are uninsured or want new health insurance. Through the Exchange, any American will have the opportunity to enroll in the new public plan or an approved private plan, and income-based sliding scale tax credits will be provided for people and families who need it..."


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