I was pretty incensed when I read this article in the New York Times this morning about the "so-called middle ground" for the public option to appease the murder-by-spreadsheet insurance industry. Here's Senator Schumer's ridiculous compromise outlined below:
The chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana, asked Mr. Schumer to seek a solution. In his response, Mr. Schumer set forth these principles:
¶The public plan must be self-sustaining. It should pay claims with money raised from premiums and co-payments. It should not receive tax revenue or appropriations from the government.
¶The public plan should pay doctors and hospitals more than what Medicare pays. Medicare rates, set by law and regulation, are often lower than what private insurers pay.
¶The government should not compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan just because they participate in Medicare.
¶To prevent the government from serving as both "player and umpire," the officials who manage a public plan should be different from those who regulate the insurance market.
In addition, Mr. Schumer said, the public plan should be required to establish a reserve fund, just as private insurers must maintain reserves for the payment of anticipated claims. And he said the public plan should be required to provide the same minimum benefits as private insurers.
I don't think the public plan should be self-sustaining, because if it's wholly reliant on money raised from premiums and co-payments, that means that the premiums and co-payments will be higher than those of the premiums and co-payments offered by private health plans.
And yes, the government should compel doctors and hospitals to participate in a public plan, otherwise the doctors and hospitals will refuse to take the patients in the public plan just like they refuse to take on any new Medicare patients. In order for the public plan to work, it has to have widespread participation by medical professionals which translate to universal access for Americans. In any city, town, or state, they should be able to go to a doctor who can't refuse to take them on. In a small town, a doctor might be enticed by private plan insurers to refuse patients from the public option. That's why I'm against the second bullet point in Senator Schumer's cockamamie proposal.
And there should be NO private officials to manage a public plan. It MUST be managed by the government to promote efficiency and to reduce administrative overhead in the public plan. There can be NO appointment of officials from the private health insurance industry to manage the public plan.
This sort of "middle ground" is unacceptable for me.
Please call Senator Schumer's office today and let him KNOW that his middle-ground proposals are unacceptable for you too.
Here's his damn phone number:
If you can't get through to Schumer's office on that main line, go to this CONTACT page on his website, scroll all the way DOWN to the bottom and call the phone numbers of his local offices.
Oh, and don't forget to call that turncoat traitor Senator Nelson as well! Tell him that he MUST support the a Medicare-like public option in health care reform.
President Obama will be meeting with House Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committes to talk about health care reform and the climate change crisis in about an hour.
Please call these House Democrats below and tell them to stand up for US on the public option in health care reform and to oppose the Schumer so-called compromise!
House Committee on Energy and Commerce
And use this phone number (202) 224-3121 to be connected to the Member of Congress below on this list:
Henry A. Waxman, CA, Chair
John D. Dingell, MI, Chair Emeritus
Edward J. Markey, MA
Rick Boucher, VA
Frank Pallone, Jr., NJ
Bart Gordon, TN
Bobby L. Rush, IL
Anna G. Eshoo, CA
Bart Stupak, MI
Eliot L. Engel, NY
Gene Green, TX
Diana DeGette, CO
Lois Capps, CA
Mike Doyle, PA
Jane Harman, CA
Jan Schakowsky, IL
Charles A. Gonzalez, TX
Jay Inslee, WA
Tammy Baldwin, WI
Mike Ross, AR
Anthony D. Weiner, NY
Jim Matheson, UT
G.K. Butterfield, NC
Charlie Melancon, LA
John Barrow, GA
Baron P. Hill, IN
Doris O. Matsui, CA
Donna M. Christensen, VI
Kathy Castor, FL
John P. Sarbanes, MD
Christopher S. Murphy, CT
Zachary T. Space, OH
Jerry McNerney, CA
Betty Sutton, OH
Bruce L. Braley, IA
Peter Welch, VT
COMMENT IF YOU'VE CALLED SCHUMER'S OFFICE AND THE HOUSE ENERGY AND COMMERCE COMMITTEE!
Kossack ovals49 just got hung up on by Schumer's health care aide. Here's his report from the phone conversation:
It may have been predictable (0+ / 0-)
but what may surprise them is the level of public outrage this bullshit "compromise" will engender.
I just got off the phone with an aide to Senator Schumer and made the point that this was a complete kowtow to the for profit insurance industry. When the aide interrupted to defend the compromise points with the 60 vote argument, I reminded him that this once in a lifetime opportunity for health care reform should not be squandered on a public option doomed to fail. When I reminded the aide that elected representatives should be serving the interests of the people, not the insurance interest and that there would be consequences at the ballot box.....he hung up on me.