Skip to main content

View Diary: Obama to Propose Federal Oversight of Rate Increases (153 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  If government cost controls via regulation are (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    J M F

    hard wired to fail, what makes you think that the same won't be true of the public option?

    all of these idea work in theory. whether they work in practice will always depend on whether we can get real committed people into the right positions an shelter them from manipulation from the indsutry and their allies in congress.

    that is always what this is about.

    as for the tactical value of this proposal, clearly is has some political benefit to our cause because of what it forces the GOP and conservadems to do in response. let's not be so quick to declare it a giveaway.

    •  So far, there's little indication that the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      J M F

      Republicans can be forced into anything.  If they just keep saying "no" they will be seen to stand by their principles.  If they go along with Obama (how likely does that sound?), they would be failing on their own and right-wing base's terms and they are not likely to let that happen.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 06:52:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The PO (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        J M F

        The public option, if it's still alive, is something that would be managed by the HHS.  

        If regulation of the system doesn't mean anything because insurers can rig the game, then how in the world could we be expected to think that the PO would do any better under the direction of the HHS?  

        It's a pretty legitimate question, if you ask me.

        People don't get up in the morning and ask, Do I want single-payer or managed competition? Wellstone

        by otto on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 06:55:46 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because they would be creating a benchmark (0+ / 0-)

          for rates not trying to regulate the numbers proposed by insurers.  They would take the lead instead of playing catch up.

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:02:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do that with medicare rates now. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Seeds, output

            There's no benchmark; they just get together and decide on a fair rate.

            (it's too low, most health professionals will tell you. But the point remains, it can be done.)

            Bush Bites is a subsidiary of Bush Bites Inc., a registered corporate personhood.

            by Bush Bites on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:04:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  the dirty little secret about the relatively low (0+ / 0-)

              rates paid by Medicare is that provider still come out ahead because they don't have to spend hours fighting with insurance company bureaucrats - before and after services are rendered - every time they see a patient.

              " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

              by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:01:48 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  that was my point (0+ / 0-)

          all it would take is a GOP election somewhere down the road, and they would stick in a Brownie type to run the PO into the ground, and then trumpet it as an example of how  the government can't do anytying.

          they ideas, all of  them, work so long as they are sheltered from this kind of politics. Medicare works (for now)because its enemies have not found a politically safe way to destroy it. so they are trying to starve it.

          •  I see that (0+ / 0-)

            I'm trying to understand how someone could be cynical about this legislation, but still be supportive of a public option.  

            That's not saying that I am against a public option, that's me trying to square some opinions that appear to contain conflicts.  

            People don't get up in the morning and ask, Do I want single-payer or managed competition? Wellstone

            by otto on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:10:05 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think it is based on the assumption (0+ / 0-)

              that it would be politically unpalatable to mess with the public option in the same way it is a third rail to mess with Medicare.

              One off regulation doesn't appear to have the same public impact if changes are made (EPA, SEC).  

              At least I believe that is the thought...

              "Just today, Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." Sen. Barack Obama

              by justmy2 on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:39:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  your conclusion does not follow from your premise (0+ / 0-)

          As it happens, DHHS now runs the largest insurance plan in the country, Medicare, with the highest "medical loss" ratio and customer satisfaction in the land. This is the administratively successful, fiscally responsible reality. There's nothing at all theoretical about it.

          " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

          by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:55:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It does (0+ / 0-)

            My question was in response to the notion that a PO managed by HHS would be a good idea, but insurance price regulations under HHS would be a bad idea because they could be manipulated.

            There's a dissonance that needs to be addressed.  

            People don't get up in the morning and ask, Do I want single-payer or managed competition? Wellstone

            by otto on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:13:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  you said, (0+ / 0-)

              If regulation of the system doesn't mean anything because insurers can rig the game, then how in the world could we be expected to think that the PO would do any better under the direction of the HHS?

              in essence, what i understand you to ask is how a board convened under the auspices of HHS is too weak to regulate private premiums, how can HHS, in providing insurance, avoid the corrupting influence of the industry.

              no one said that regulatory boards are inherently manipulable. they are saying that this particular one is. what i said was that DHHS has a track record of successfully administering an insurance plan (a PO, really), and that it does not follow that creation of a sham regulator would alter that plan, or upset the effects of competition and supply and demand.  

              " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

              by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 08:39:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  the point is not to get their votes (0+ / 0-)

        the point is to use their united opposition to everything  obama says against them, in this case forcing them to stand in favor of rate increases. of course they will still be opposed to it, but if you make them take the unpopular road while they are doing it, you give cover to democrats who will need to go it alone.

    •  no one is saying that *all* regulatory (0+ / 0-)

      schemes are hard-wired to fail; only that this one seems to be. in fact, it sounds to me rather like an advisory body, not  (even) a (toothless) regulatory one.

      " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

      by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 07:51:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  i know no one is saying itq (0+ / 0-)

        but the question is still unanswered. if commissions can't control costs their designed to control becuase industry or their allies are set up as the oversears, what makes anyone think that the PO won't be vulnerable to the same problems? I can easily see the PO set up to fail once industry allies get themselves into position to appoint its managers.

        •  not sure what kind of public option (0+ / 0-)

          I can easily see the PO set up to fail once industry allies get themselves into position to appoint its managers

          you're proposing here. the most obvious means of establishing a PO is medicare. and the notion that a sham commission will have no effect on premium prices has nothing to do with whether DHHS can manage a health plan -  they already do.

          " unfortunately, insurers compete mainly by trying to excel in the art of denying coverage to those who need it most" - Paul Krugman

          by output on Mon Feb 22, 2010 at 09:34:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site