Obama Ready to Give Up Public Option – Not So Fast, Folks
Today, the Associated Press reported that the White House appears to be ready to back off of the public option, in hopes of actually moving health reforms forward and actually getting some sort of win before the Dems run the train off of the cliff. Few people in this country are more excited about the idea of getting the government out of people’s lives than I and dispensing with the public option, to me, is a step in the right direction.
But it’s not quite enough yet.
I like the idea of cooperatives for health insurance because it puts the power for health coverage in the hands of members – the public. Rather than the government running an option to compete with private industry, creating a cooperative that puts the decision making to people is the way to go.
But as so very eloquently written by the Heritage Foundation, health care cooperatives need to be completely independent entities with no ties to the federal government. They need to be member controlled and self-regulated.
There is a paragraph in the article that disturbs me about the co-op idea that Kent Conrad has proposed:
With $3 billion to $4 billion in initial support from the government, the co-ops would operate under a national structure with state affiliates, but independent of the government. They would be required to maintain the type of financial reserves that private companies are required to keep in case of unexpectedly high claims.
The idea is to get the government free and clear of health care. This means turning away any subsidy – because if you take government money, it’s never free – it comes with a price tag. Creating a national structure and state affiliates still creates a quasi-government plan!
A true co-operative means the government is not involved in the co-operative. And yes, I see the words “independent of the government”, but if they are independent of the government, then they need to be truly independent without any ties or interference from the government.
But as I have maintained before, there is too much money in health care for the government to sit on the sidelines. And the Fabian Socialism works in incremental steps. So the way I see it, they put the rest of the “reforms” in place first and then start working on the public option piece.
Be careful folks. Don’t believe them and don’t trust them. There’s too much at stake to think that the liberals will back down from all this.