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An idea......Take out the Mandate, Offer Medicare to pre-existing conditions, Ram it through.

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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:00 AM
Original message
An idea......Take out the Mandate, Offer Medicare to pre-existing conditions, Ram it through.
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 10:32 AM by Armstead
That, in my opinion, would be the best way to get HCR without paying a heavy political price. Use reconciliation or allow the GOP to filibuster or threaten the Nuclear Option to ram it through.A bill that had mostly good things, without the politically unpopular mandates, would allow the Democrats to claim a victory.

The only excuse for a mandate is that insurers "need" it to be able to cover pre-existing conditions. So, take away that excuse by offering Medicare coverage to anyone denied coverage on that basis.

If the GOP tries to obstruct, call them out for blocking something designed to help people. Make them look bad for trying to block something that would help Americans -- their arguments would be considerably weaker and look more mean-spirited without the "nanny state" aspect of a mandate.

I'm not crazy about this bill, because I think we screwed the pooch by not offering the opportunity to offer a public insurance program that is affordable. But besides that, I think the mandates for private insurance is the most onerous and politically loaded part of the current HCR bill.

So, trying to be "pragmatic" to get something in place, here's what I believe the dems could do to salvage something, and make the GOP look bad.


Just a thought.

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fasttense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:17 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've said that over and over again when the Senate 1st trotted out the mandates.
If Congress would just take out the mandate it would be a win-win. Doesn't Obama like win-wins?

Without the mandates (I even suggested a triggered mandate, where corporations had to prove they were hurting from a lack of a mandate) the bill is no worse than status quo and probably better than nothing. The Democratic party could claim a victory, their base would NOT be up in arms and the RepubliCONS would have very little to fear from the bill.

I don't think this administration is very serious about anything except making sure corporations don't get a raw deal. But the Dancing Supremes have taken care of that for them.

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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. They abandoned the good progressive idea of public insurance.The least they could do is....
...also take away the unpopular aspect of mandates.

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subterranean Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:27 AM
Response to Original message
3. The insurance companies would love that idea.
They could push all the unhealthy people into Medicare and just insure the healthiest, most profitable customers. Medicare would become a high-risk pool and would be far more expensive than private insurance.

As it stands, there is already a provision to establish a national high-risk pool for people who were denied private coverage. It would take effect immediately after the bill is signed, and continue until 2014 or until it runs out of funds, whichever comes first.

I agree that most people would not mind the mandate so much if they were given the option of choosing a competitive, affordable public insurance plan, or even non-profit private insurance. It's the idea of being FORCED to pay for the profits of insurance companies, and handing taxpayer money to those companies, that doesn't sit well with many Americans (myself included).
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
4. My suggestion is merely a short-term fix to a bad situation
If it makes the insurance companies happy, that's okay for now. There are also many ways it could be tweaked.

My major concern is corporate mandates. This will make the idea of future meaningful reform more onerous to many people who might have supported it otherwise.

My idea would at least be a step in the direction of public insurance. And the finances could be worked out (perhaps a surttax on insurance company profits).
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. They do that already though. What difference does it make to them whether the people they reject
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 AM by Unvanguard
get Medicare or not?

Edit: And Medicare is already a high-risk pool, because it targets the elderly--but since it's not funded exclusively through premiums, it works out.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:33 AM
Response to Original message
5. Could we get that kind of Medicare expansion through reconciliation?
If we can, that's a fantastic option. They'll still oppose it, but we'll be on better political ground.
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Armstead Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Dunno -- if so that's another option /nt
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