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View Diary: Save a Little Lieberman Criticism for Bob Schieffer (82 comments)

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  •  The GOP/Lieberman Argument (6+ / 0-)

    ... against the public option -- as explained by Chan Lowe, editorial cartoonist for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel


    (Click on cartoon for larger image)

    :: ::

    Critics complain that the public option is a Trojan horse that will eventually usher in the dreaded single-payer government health plan, and be the death of private insurers. I'm not sure where the threat lies here: it's like saying that introducing penicillin will mean the death of venereal disease.

    Anyway, it should please states-rights conservatives that the Democratic leadership is offering a state opt-out as a sweetener.  This way, blue states can have their public option, and red states can--on principle--reject its subversive, godless, socialistic philosophical underpinnings if they want to.

    Of course, if the red-staters begin to notice that the blue-staters' premiums are falling precipitously, there may be a reapportionment of legislators in the next statewide elections. Money always talks, and...well, you know the rest of the expression.

    Latest Diary, October 20th - A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

    by JekyllnHyde on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 12:48:54 PM PST

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    •  Forgot Link (0+ / 0-)

      Latest Diary, October 20th - A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

      by JekyllnHyde on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 12:50:25 PM PST

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    •  However, there is some logic to Lieberman's point (0+ / 0-)

      Not to defend Lieberman, but his supposition that a public option would cause private insurance rates to go up isn't entirely crazy.  Let me see if I can illustrate the point.

      Let's say you're a hospital emergency room.  A certain procedure costs you $500 to perform.  Now, a private insurer negotiates with you to pay $550 for the procedure and all is well.  Then the public option comes to you and says they'll pay you only $400 for the procedure but that you will get access to their big pool of patients.

      So of course, at $400, you're losing money, but what you can do is renegotiate with the private insurer at a higher rate, say, $650.  This means that, on average, you're still making money.  Thus the cost savings in the public option is passed onto the private insurer.

      Now why would you do this as that hospital?  Because if you don't, then those patients on the public option will show up at your emergency room anyhow.  So you'd rather take the lower fees rather than get nothing at all.  Then you make up for those losses by passing the cost onto private insurers or the uninsured.

      One example though of how this is happening today is in the pharmaceutical industry.  In the US we pay a lot more for drugs than other countries do.  We do so because we don't engage in collective bargaining with the pharma companies.  So what happens is France goes and negotiates a price for the entire country and gets a lower rate because of it.  In the US we don't so we all pay a higher rate.  If we negotiated prices in the US, we'd see the price of the drugs go up in France because pharma wouldn't be offsetting those losses by charging us.

      •  Does Pharma run an ad every 10 minutes during (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brooke In Seattle

        prime time television in France pushing marginal drugs of dubious effectiveness?  I don't think so.  If they stopped running up a huge advertising budget for boner pills and the like, they would incur much less expense and could set their prices on merely exorbitant rather than outrageous.

        And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

        by MrJersey on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 01:30:43 PM PST

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    •  Did Lieberman get immunity from fact check (0+ / 0-)

      when he became an Independant Republican?

      it tastes like burning...

      by eastvan on Mon Nov 02, 2009 at 02:07:57 PM PST

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