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View Diary: Weiner: AHIP Justifies the Public Option (178 comments)

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  •  If this is true (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuck utzman, slinkerwink

    As Rep. Weiner says, adequate cost containment just isn't in the Baucus bill, and while the last thing--the very last thing AHIP wants is a public option, they make a damned good argument for it by commissioning this report.

    Why is the majority of this site backing up the WH talking points that came out today saying exchanges will control costs?  

    There are only two options here.  

    1. AHIP wants to kill the bill, not matter what and they are going to war to scare consumers, because they think the Public Option will be put in later.
    1. AHIP and Baucus are doing exactly what you would do if you are comfortable with the bill as is.  Create a floor much beyond the agreement to make the agreement look like a compromise.  It give Baucus cover down the line ("See, I am not in the pocket of the insurance lobby") and it gives AHIP cover ("If we wrote the bill, why would we attack it")

    I thought the left was smarter that to follow the shiny object, but apparently many can be easily persuaded by the "well if they are against it, I am for it argument".

    I wish the could be a negotiating 101 class on this site.

    "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

    by justmy2 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 03:36:18 PM PDT

    •  Honestly, I think as the exchange is now written (4+ / 0-)

      is weak.

      You can be both against the Baucus bill and think that AHIP wants to kill reform simultaneously.

      From my perspective, the WH and Baucus bent over backwards to keep AHIP at the table, and now that it looks like some kind of reform is really going to happen, are going to try to derail it. Which was probably Plan B for them all along, if the process didn't end up imploding under it's own weight.

      •  Thats fine. I guess my question is (1+ / 0-)
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        slinkerwink

        why did this one report suddenly make the Baucus bill as is A-Ok?

        AHIP is probably right and have literally told us they will raise prices.  But yet, Weiner is the only person trying to take advantage of this, while others are putting out talking points saying an exchange will keep prices down.

        If we didn't believe that on Friday, why should we believe it now?  Because AHIP said mandates won't keep prices down?  Does that mean we were wrong?

        I don't think so. I don't get it.  They are telling us what will happen, and we are saying they were wrong.  Why?  Shouldn't we be saying thank you and we agree?  

        The only reason to not use this as a bludgeon is if you truly think exchanges are sufficient.

        "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

        by justmy2 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 03:48:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It didn't (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          slinkerwink

          as far as I'm concerned. To me it just shows the inherent lack of good faith in the industry in these negotiations.

          I'm not sure why Weiner is the only one among Dems to be focusing on the cost control angle--more of them certainly should be.

          But there's another point, and that's that AHIP took aim at more than just the Baucus bill--they focus on the weakened mandates in it, but also rail against the public option (not in the Baucus bill). They're fighting all reform.

          •  McJoan - can you answer this question? (2+ / 0-)
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            askew, jim bow

            Weiner's argument only works if the AHIP report is legitimate and the bill would truly lead to premium increases.  Only the report's been debunked many times.

            Do you think that their report is legitimate?

            I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

            by dansac on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 04:04:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The report accurately reflects (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              slinkerwink, justmy2, dclawyer06

              the industry's intentions, IMO. To kill reform. Is it legitimate in it's methodology or assumptions? No, I don't believe it is. Does whether or not the AHIP report is legitimate make the Baucus bill any better? no.

              Weiner is smartly turning it around to point out the deficiencies in the Baucus bill. The AHIP report basically assumes that insurers will raise their rates because the Baucus bill doesn't make the pool of consumers attractive for them. Which makes the case for providing consumers with a cheap and available alternative.

              •  Smartly legitimizing a BS report (2+ / 0-)
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                askew, jim bow

                You avoided the question.   Of course it reflects the intentions to kill reform.  But two wrongs don't make a right.

                I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

                by dansac on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 04:36:34 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I should probably stay out of this, but I won't. (0+ / 0-)

                Weiner is just grandstanding -- just as he was when he signed the letter along with another 155 Representatives saying he wouldn't accept the excise tax on high-value plans.  I wish Weiner had more class like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who has kept her mouth shut, and not publicly denounced anyone who is heavily involved in the process.  That's what a political grown-up does.

                The truth is that each committee chair with jurisdiction over this bill has gotten their members to cast very, very difficult votes, and each committee chair who has passed legislation should have some say in the final bill.  Democrats and Kossacks at some point At some point, Democrats are going to have to come to terms that each committee will have at least two items from their chairman's bill.  We ought to take the best parts each committee has passed.  With Finance, it's the CBO score -- which means we should keep at least the current excise tax on high-end plans and the MedPAC Commission.  With HELP, it's the minimum level of coverage -- the minimum actuarial value -- a plan must have.  With the House bill, it's their federal Exchange and the rating rules and the rules on the Exchange preventing insurers from cherry-picking the healthy.  I just want to be a grown-up about the bill.  Too many struggling Americans who have only to the government to turn to for help have waited too long.  This bill must pass, and that means compromises.

                jim bow, ASA, MAAA

                by jim bow on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 05:06:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  On Friday, the vast majority of experts (0+ / 0-)

              said the main problem with the Baucus bill was that it didn't control costs. From Wendall Potter to Howard Dean.

              But now, AHIP says it doesn't control costs, and we are now supposed to believe that the bill will now make insurance companies keep prices down.

              Can we just be consistent?  Which is it?  Does the Baucus bill have enough weight to keep costs down, through ideas such as exchanges?  Or were we all just fooled and the Baucus bill actually a bill that will make insurance affordable.

              My head is spinning...

              "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

              by justmy2 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 04:26:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  AHIP's report is NOT right (0+ / 0-)

          It's bogus and based on false assumptions.  Take a look at Ezra Klein and Jon Cohn today - they totally debunk it.

          That's the problem with this entire post and Weiner's comments - they legitimize a bogus report.  

          I'm shocked to learn that 1 in 12 Americans do not know that the bird, is in fact, that word.

          by dansac on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 04:05:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I am not basing my assumption on the validity (0+ / 0-)

            of the analysis.  I am basing it on two things.

            1.  Who cares what is in the report?  The insurance companies are saying the will raise rates.  Do you think the bill will force them to reverse course if it becomes the final bill.
            1.  Regardless of what AHIP says, up until yesterday, the conventional wisdom was that the Baucus bill did a lot, but cost containment was not part of it and everyone was relying on the conference or merged bill to fix that.

            Now, the WH just released talking points saying the Baucus bill was great.  

            I just want to know if we are now under the belief that the Baucus bill is the bill we are looking for?  If it is, I just want to know how we got to that point simply by AHIP coming out against it.  That doesn't make sense.

            "Republicans drove the country into a ditch and now they are complaining about the cost of the tow truck"-Jim Cornette

            by justmy2 on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 04:30:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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