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Health Reform’s Missing Ingredient
By Ron Wyden, Senator D-OR, NYTimes Op-Ed
September 17, 2009

The various bills making their way through Congress would, as the president explained, provide some consumer choice by establishing large marketplaces where people could easily compare insurance plans and pick the one that best suits their needs.
[...]
The problem with these bills, however, is that they would not make the exchanges available to all Americans. Only very small companies and those individuals who can’t get insurance outside of the exchange — 25 million people — would be allowed to shop there. This would leave more than 200 million Americans with no more options, private or public, than they have today.

http://www.nytimes.com/...


Wait a second, I thought the Public Option, would give us a Choice --
give US ALL a Choice?

The Insurance Exchange will be closed to "more than 200 million Americans"?

that must be a typo!?!


This would leave more than 200 million Americans with no more options, private or public, than they have today.

Well that's a significant problem!


Jay Rockefeller, like Wyden, also gets to Vote on the final Baucus Bill, since they are among the "silent members" of that Committee.

Jay Rockefeller, like Wyden, is worried about those Americans -- who will get NO Choice, within the current Finance Bill. Worse yet, many Americans will be exempted from the New Rules, meant to improve Coverage quality, due to the insurance give-aways already written into the Bills.

What's Wrong With the Finance Bill? An Interview With Senator Jay Rockefeller.
By Ezra Klein,  Washington Post -- September 18, 2009

Question: Can you support the Finance Committee bill in its current form?

Rockefeller: No.

Why?

Rockefeller: Obviously the public option. I feel very strongly about that as a discipline on the private health insurance market.
[...]
Another issue is that 46 percent of the American people have health insurance from fairly large companies that self-insure. And they're not included in the regulations. They have to have protection from preexisting conditions and lifetime caps and rescissions too.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/...

Huh? What that?

... 46% of the Americans ... not included in the regulations [for] preexisting conditions and lifetime caps and rescissions.

Well that's another significant problem!


What is "Self Insurance" anyways -- since, almost half of us have it?

http://www.biztimes.com/...
When to Self-Insure?
By Elizabeth Hockerman, of BizTimes

Any size company can become self-insured, which means that the company assumes the risk of paying medical claims [...] The majority of companies that are self-insured purchase stop/loss insurance. [...] The company pays every claim that is under $10,000, and the stop loss insurance would cover anything over $10,001.

Interesting, I wonder if those us with Self-Insured plans through our Employers, even know it?  I wonder if that 46% of us will end up with the Choice of a Public Option, assuming one is eventually passed, in one form or another?

Look out for Self-Insurance exclusions, Check!


Jay Rockefeller has stated he will NOT vote for the Baucus Bill in its current form.

Hopefully Ron Wyden will join him, since both are on Max Baucus' Finance Committee -- Yet, Neither Senator was included in Baucus' infamous "Gang of Six" -- aka. the "See No Evil from Insurers" Gang!

Both Senators DO get to Vote on the Final Finance Committee Bill however.

Ron Wyden is planning to leverage his Vote, by offering a "Real Choice" Admendment to Max's reversed- bi-partisan Bill:

Senator Ron Wyden: The Free Choice Proposal (pdf)
(selected legislative excerpts and emphasis added)

Brief Description:

The Free Choice Proposal gives EVERY American

the ability to either choose to keep the coverage they have
or
pick a plan
that works better for them and their family.

It guarantees both choice and portability

by creating a path for employers
to insure their workers through

a national
or
state-based insurance marketplace
known as the "Exchange."
[...]

Free Choice Will Help Working Americans

With the Free Choice Proposal, workers will be able to keep the coverage they have or go to the exchange if they want another plan.

Low-income workers will be ensured affordable health care.
[...]


Transition to the Free Choice System

Year 1 - People who are currently in the individual market plus small employers with up to 10 workers and the uninsured have access to the exchange.

Year 2 - Add small employers with up to 25 workers to the exchange.

Year 3 - Give State Medicaid programs the choice to be in exchange.

Year 4 - Open up the exchange to medium sized employers with up to 250 workers using the Free Choice approach.

Year 5 - Open exchanges to all employers.

Woo Hoo! -- I like that Result, in Year Five ... Hmmm? I wonder if "MY Public Option" Bill will do that?

Those are some good principles to be carried forward, into WHATEVER Reconciliation Committee Process eventually unfolds, in the upcoming months. Just because a Bill talks about the Public Option, it doesn't mean that YOU will get a Choice!

Consumers Beware!

In many ways a Watered-down Public Option, is more dangerous than NO Public Option. A Watered-down Public Option would give us the illusion of Change, WITHOUT the sweeping RESULTS OF actual CHANGE!


Without Wyden's "Free Choice" Amendment, the Baucus Bill is a non-starter. It's little more than a Gift to the Insurance Lobby -- mandating coverage, while restricting Consumer Choice of "qualified private plans", and excluding a Choice to a Public Option entirely!

Well there ARE OTHER Health Care Bills out there, that do INCLUDE the Public Option, Right?. What kind of Choice, do Consumer's get in those competing Bills?


Here's the Kennedy Bill, which is being promoted by Jay Rockefeller lately:
(By the way, Kennedy Bill IS a Bi-partisan Bill, unlike the "Faux Baucus Bill".)


The Affordable Health Choices Act

In July 2009, Senator Kennedy’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee passed The Affordable Health Choices Act, landmark legislation that will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable health care for all Americans.

The legislation builds on the existing employer-based system and strengthens it. If people like the health insurance they have, they get to keep it. The bill provides better choices for those with no coverage now, and those for whom coverage is unaffordable. It also gives small businesses better options for high value health coverage.

Ted Kennedy's Web Site


If people like the health insurance they have, they get to keep it.

OK ... What if they "Don't like" their health insurance plan, DO they get to Exchange it? ... do we get to trade in our Clunkers, for a better model, here?


Good question.  Let check some of the legislative specifics from Kennedy's Affordable Health Choices Act, designed to HELP ordinary Americans:

In Historic Vote, HELP Committee Approves the Affordable Health Choices Act
July 15, 2009

(selected legislative excerpts and emphasis added)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee today passed The Affordable Health Choices Act, landmark legislation that will reduce health costs, protect individuals’ choice in doctors and plans, and assure quality and affordable heath care for Americans. The bipartisan bill includes more than 160 Republican amendments accepted during the month-long mark-up, one of the longest in Congressional history.

The bill also includes a strong public option that responds to the wishes of the American people to have a clear alternative to for-profit insurance companies. Like private insurance plans The Community Health Insurance Option will be available through the American Health Benefit Gateway, a new way for individuals and small employers to find and purchase quality and affordable health insurance in every state.

The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates the bill to cost less than $615 billion over 10 years.


Subtitle B. Available Coverage for All Americans

Synopsis: This subtitle authorizes the establishment of an Affordable Health Benefit Gateway in each state and of a Community Health Insurance Plan.

Planning grants are provided to each state to support the creation of state Gateways.

States can establish Gateways as quickly they wish, thus qualifying their residents for premium credits.

If a state takes no action, the Secretary will establish and operate that state’s Gateway.

Gateways are established to help
qualified individuals and
qualified employer groups
to purchase affordable health insurance and related insurance products.


The Gateway will establish procedures

to qualify health plans to be offered through them,
develop tools to enable consumers to obtain coverage,
establish open enrollment periods, and
assist consumers in the purchase of long term services and supports.


Affordable Choices of Health Benefit Plans.

Each state will have an Affordable Health Benefit Gateway,
established either by the state or
by the Secretary of Health and Human Services
that will be administered through a governmental agency or
non-profit organization.

Within 60 days of enactment, the Secretary will make planning grant awards to states to undertake activities related
to establishing their own Gateway.

The Gateway exists to facilitate voluntary purchase of health insurance coverage and related insurance products
at an affordable price by
qualified individuals and
qualified employer groups.

States may require benefits in addition to essential health benefits but must assume additional costs.

Risk pools include all enrollees in an individual plan
or a group health plan.


The Gateway will include a public health insurance option.

The Gateway will establish procedures to qualify
interested health plans to offer
their health insurance policies through the Gateway. (§ 3101)


Subtitle D. Shared Responsibility for Health Care

Definitions: (§ 3116)

"An eligible employee" is an individual for whom if the employer-sponsored coverage does not meet criteria for minimum qualifying coverage or is not affordable for the employee.

"A qualified individual" is residing in a participating or establishing State, not incarcerated, not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, TRICARE, FEHBP, or any qualifying employer-sponsored coverage.

HELP Committee Approves the Affordable Health Choices Act (pdf)

Hmmm? that's a lot of "qualifiers"!?

Do we, or Do we Not -- Get a Choice of the Public Option, offered in the Exchange?

if the employer-sponsored coverage does not meet criteria for minimum qualifying coverage or is not affordable for the employee.

Those are 2 Big IFs.  ... Kind of sounds like, It's up to the Employer -- NOT up to US!


SO What kind of Choice do we Consumer's get in the popular House Bill -- H.R. 3200?

America's Affordable Health Choices Act: Complete Bill Text (H.R. 3200)

(selected legislative excerpts and emphasis added)

-- A Health Insurance Exchange.

The new Health Insurance Exchange creates a transparent and functional marketplace

for individuals and small employers

to comparison shop among private and public insurers.

It works with state insurance departments to set and enforce

insurance reforms and
consumer protections,
facilitates enrollment, and
administers affordability credits to help low- and middle-income individuals and families purchase insurance.

Over time, the Exchange will be opened to additional employers as another choice for covering their employees.

States may opt to operate the Exchange in lieu of the national Exchange provided they follow the federal rules.


-- A public health insurance option.

One of the many choices of health insurance within the Health Insurance Exchange

is a public health insurance option.

It will be a new choice in many areas of our country dominated by just one or two private insurers today.

The public option will operate on a level playing field.

It will be subject to the same market reforms and consumer protections as other private plans in the Exchange and

it will be self-sustaining – financed only by its premiums.

America's Affordable Health Choices Act: Summary (pdf)

OK that's a Good Summary of the House Bill.  Sounds like it plans to -- much like the Wyden "Free Choice" Proposal -- to eventually expand to all employers:

Over time, the Exchange will be opened to additional employers as another choice for covering their employees.

Does "be opened to" -- mean employers, have to offer it?

Does "additional employers"  imply ALL employers? ... not really.


Drilling further into the nitty, gritty of HR 3200:

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act Section-by-Section Analysis
July 14, 2009

(selected legislative excerpts and emphasis added)

TITLE I – PROTECTIONS AND STANDARDS FOR QUALIFIED HEALTH BENEFITS PLANS

SUBTITLE C – STANDARDS GUARANTEEING ACCESS TO ESSENTIAL BENEFITS

Sec. 121. Coverage of essential benefits package.

Requires qualified plans to meet the benefit standards recommended by the Benefits Advisory Committee and adopted by the Secretary of HHS.

Plans outside the Exchange must offer
at least the essential benefits
and others as they choose.

Plans within the Exchange must meet
the specified benefit packages,
which includes a tier with offerings of additional benefits.

Allows for the continued offering of separate
excepted benefits packages
as in current law outside of the Exchange.


TITLE II—HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE AND RELATED PROVISIONS

SUBTITLE A – HEALTH INSURANCE EXCHANGE

Sec. 202. Exchange-eligible individuals and employers.

Defines who is eligible for participation in the Health Insurance Exchange
including employers and individuals.

In year one,
individuals not enrolled in other acceptable coverage
are allowed into the Exchange
as well as small employers with 10 or fewer employees.

In year two,
employers with 20 and fewer employees are allowed into the Exchange.

In subsequent years, the Health Choices Commissioner is granted authority to
expand employer participation as appropriate,
with the goal of allowing all employers access to the Exchange.


SUBTITLE B – PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE OPTION

Sec. 221. Establishment and administration of a public health insurance option as an Exchange-qualified health benefits plan.

Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop a public health insurance option

to be offered starting in 2013 as a plan choice
within
the Health Insurance Exchange.

It participates on a level playing field with private plan choices.

Like private plans, it must
offer the same benefits,
abide by the same insurance market reforms,
follow provider network requirements and
other consumer protections.

Sec. 222. Premiums and financing.

Premiums for the public option are geographically-adjusted
and are required to be set so as to fully cover
the cost of coverage as well as
administrative costs of the plan.

This includes a requirement that the public option,
like private plans, include
a contingency margin in its premium to cover unexpected cost variations.

In order to establish the public option, there is an initial appropriation of $2 billion for administrative costs and in order to provide for initial claims reserves before the collection of premiums such sums as necessary to cover 90 days worth of claims reserves based on projected enrollment.

These start up funds are amortized into the premiums for the public option to be recouped over the first 10 years of operation.

The plan must be self-sustaining after that initial funding.

Section-by-Section Analysis (pdf)

OK, this is good to see:

goal of allowing all employers access to the Exchange

It's Good to Have Goals!!

This one bit of legislation however, kind of seems like a worrisome Weasle Word restriction:

In year one, individuals not enrolled in other acceptable coverage are allowed into the Exchange as well as small employers with 10 or fewer employees.

Which Lobbyist, I wonder, wrote that clause:
"not enrolled in other acceptable coverage"

Who decides what is "acceptable coverage" or not?

Who decides what is "affordable coverage" or not?

Who decides if and when, we get to go into the Insurance Exchange, no questions asked?


When I want to shop for a New Car, I don't have to check with anyone, least of all my Employer -- I just go out into the Market, and find the best deal!


This leads me back to Senator Wyden again.  He is calling for ALL Americans to be offered the Choice on the Exchange.

Wyden is advocating that giving EVERYONE a CHOICE, is critical for the competitive forces of an "open" Marketplace, to drive down the Costs for everyone.


Health Reform’s Missing Ingredient
By Ron Wyden, Senator D-OR, NYTimes Op-Ed
September 17, 2009

Under the nation’s current employer-based system, most people have little if any choice about where they get their insurance. They just have to accept the plan that comes with their job. That insurance company, in turn, is provided a captive group of customers, so it has no incentive to earn their loyalty.
[...]
I believe there is a way to work with the present employer-based system to guarantee that all Americans have choices, and I am proposing it in an amendment to the latest Senate health care bill. My amendment, called Free Choice, would let everyone choose his health insurance plan.

http://www.nytimes.com/...

Question: Without giving EVERYONE a Free CHOICE, Does a competitive Marketplace, even exist??

... or rather, Without that Choice for Everyone, aren't we really continuing with the "captive group of customers" that make up the Status Quo of our current Insurance system?  ...

Consumers with NO Choice, are Easy Pickins for Big Insurers! (especially when those Consumers, are mandated by law, to get Coverage.)


In many ways a Watered-down Public Option, is more dangerous than NO Public Option. A Watered-down Public Option would give us the illusion of Change, WITHOUT the sweeping RESULTS OF CHANGE!

Any Bill that the Insurance Industry is happy with, is a Bill which simply perpetuates the Status Quo -- our Premium Payments should GUARANTEE us Quality Care, at an Affordable Price -- NOT just more of the same!

A Strong Public Option, available to EVERY American who wants it, will force Private Insurers, to provide Quality, or to Fail.

It would level the Playing Field, so that Insurers, can feel the Pain of "hearing that word NO!"

A Strong Public Option, means American citizens would get that Choice, to SAY NO! -- say NO to our Faux Care Policies!  


No Longer, would "NO" be that exclusive weapon, of the Insurance "Money Changers" -- By giving US the chance to SAY NO to THEM -- the true Force of the Marketplace will be brought to bear, wielded from where it belongs --

In the hands of the People!

By giving EVERYONE the Choice ... WE end up in the Driver's Seat, driving the Process of Real SWEEPING Change, for the benefit of All the People!

... and not just the privileged few.


......................... also posted on docudharma

Originally posted to Digging up those Facts ... for over 8 years. on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 05:57 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (24+ / 0-)

    thanks for reading!

    this STILL is a Story, that is NOT being told enough.

    Free Choice for WHO, again?

    In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

    by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 05:54:01 PM PDT

    •  Excellent diary! (8+ / 0-)

      It's one thing if the Exchange was going to be open to all individuals. But that is not even on the table. So if all you want to do (as some suggest) is defend what is on the table, it's pretty slim pickings.

      Maybe more would be on it if some of our more liberal senators actually had the guts to align with their constituents and openly advocate Medicare for All.

      •  thx khin! Medicare for All is what's need (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kitsap River, bob zimway

        The "Expansion of Medicare" is so simple too --

        Just take Medicare, and keep lowering the Age Requirement, to get it, every year.

        What 55, or a 45 year old, would turn down Medicare?

        Weiner Discusses Health Reform on Fox and Friends

        http://www.youtube.com/...

        In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

        by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 10:30:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  There isn't ANY *affordable* choice! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          khin

          Thats the whole idea behind the so called marketplace idea, to HIDE the fact that - surprise - there isn't any affordable choice. Its the failed promise of consumer driven health care that there is no way to make healthcare affordable for American families - barring huge raises in salaries, or huge subsidies, without cutting prices 30-50%.

          Obama said upfront, he wouldn't do that and so - this whole exercise s a wste of time because its simply impossible to make this happen without cost control. Thats why we NEED, not anything else, NEED, the savings of single payer.

          They don;t seem to grok what NEED means. They think its some kind of light little desire.

          The bottom line, the battle hasn't even begun yet, because the republicrats have not put forward anything even remotely workable for at least half - probably more, of American families..

          Healthcare needs to get cheaper. So its more affordable. Sick people need more access not less. Overutilization isn't the problem that is killing people - denial of needed care is.

          No pain, no gain.

          The point of all their exercises in Titanic deckchair rearrangement is to make it seem as if its the person's own fault that they have been sold like a piece of meat to the insurance companies for cooking "on the table" as it were.

          They often don't have the money, and so they don't have this alleged choice.

          Single Payer WORKS - It's more than affordable, its quality healthcare for all. That's what they're afraid of! Say No to COERCIVE INSURER BAILOUTS!

          by Andiamo on Sun Sep 20, 2009 at 03:26:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  the Bogus Baucus Bill -- DOA (0+ / 0-)

      The Ed Show - Wendell Potter discusses the Bogus Baucus Bill
      firedoglake - September 15, 2009

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

      by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 08:37:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  500% Tax on Older People Who Can Least Afford it (0+ / 0-)

        They want to tax older people 500% more to buy their underinsurance, than younger people. And then they will have uncovered costs that are designed to force them to not get care.

        You heard me right, the younger people get low prices so they can buy higher quality insurance when they don't need it, and the older people get hit with a huge 500% tax on premiums so that they can't afford to get care.

        Read about how crazy this end up being in The Boston Globe

        This really shows how ugly the lies on the designed to fail public option are and how few "options" we have really had or will have if we swallow their KoolAid and blindly continue to endorse a failed rationing system that has already proven itself morally bankrupt.

        There is a reason the rest of the world thinks Americans are barbarians and this is it.

        Single Payer WORKS - It's more than affordable, its quality healthcare for all. That's what they're afraid of! Say No to COERCIVE INSURER BAILOUTS!

        by Andiamo on Wed Sep 23, 2009 at 04:02:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  As it stands (5+ / 0-)

    the public option is only open to people the insurance companies have demonstrated they do not want by pricing them out of the market, or outright denying them.

    I fail to see how a public option that only accepts insurance company 'rejects' can possibly be a competitive force.

  •  You'd Think The US Chamber Of Commerce (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, khin

    would be all over this. I mean if I am a company like Microsoft or GM I'd want to be able to enroll a handful of employees in any public option or exchange to see how it works. If the plan is good, and it less than what I am paying, I'd move everybody to it.

    I mean if you have 25,000 employees. You save $50 a month with the public option, that is $15 million a year. Not chump change.

    "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

    by webranding on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:06:51 PM PDT

  •  Thank you for such an in depth, informative (5+ / 0-)

    and fully introspective diary!  I have to admit, some serious boiling down of the overlapping points would make this a far more readable enterprise, and yet the information contained within is fantastic.

    If God had been a Liberal, we wouldn't have had the ten commandments. We'd have had the ten suggestions.

    by funluvn1 on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:07:48 PM PDT

  •  I heard Wyden discussing this on MSNBC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    and that really made me perk up the next time I heard the President speak. He was saying his usual the public option is just an option and you don't have to join and for those of you with insurance, nothing changes. I thought that sounded a little scary.

    •  Yes everytime I hear Wyden (0+ / 0-)

      he makes me think.

      That guy is asking some important questions:

      Sen. Wyden: You Can Have Any Healthcare Choice as Long as it is Not a Public Option -- Sept 9 2009

      http://www.youtube.com/...

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

      by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 07:05:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  around time mark 4:00 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        theone718

        Jonathan: Senator, you said that by 2019, 90% of the American People will be barred from the Public Option. Could you explain why that is?

        Wyden: In effect, If a Govt Bureaucrat says your 'Coverage is Affordable' -- and something like 170 million people get their coverage through an Employer-based system -- you couldn't go out in the Marketplace; you couldn't go to the Exchange.

        So we took a look at the CBO Numbers, and we basically found the only people that really get to go to the Exchange, are folks you are unemployed and uninsured, and small businesses. many of the unemployed, and these groups overlap, so that it become a very small fraction. It's done primarily to protect the Status Quo.

        I think there is a 'sweet spot' in between blowing up the Employer-based system and just saying you can't improved it. I think that 'Free Choice' will get us there -- and will give all Americans choices, and will over a 4 or 5 year period, this legislation needs to make that possible.

        In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

        by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 07:21:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Baucus Bill is a non-starter (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          doinaheckuvanutjob

          But I give Kudos to Wyden,
          for fighting to get his "Free Choice" Amendment added.

          I suspect he will trade his Vote for that Amendment --
          and Baucus needs his vote.

          That Amendment, if added,
          will become the key during Reconciliation,
          for working towards a real Public Option,
          (I predict)

          If not added --

          Well Faux Choice, is better than No Choice, right?
          [snark]

          In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

          by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 07:34:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  It seems every day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    there's something more to be learned.

    Thanks for an informative diary.  There's alot to digest here.

  •  Excellent question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    I have been wondering the same thing myself since the President's speech on the issue.

  •  F*cking endorsed from here to eternity (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, thethinveil

    Wonderful diary.

    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." -- Gramsci

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:23:06 PM PDT

  •  For it to create true competition the answer must (8+ / 0-)

    be EVERYONE.

    Under the Baucus bill this is Reform In Name Only, and a total POS bill. If the overall reform looks like this, It Should DIE a sad death, and it will be entirely the fault of the thinksmall Dems who are beholden to their corporate masters, i.e. the DLC, Blue Dog, ConservaDem crowds

    The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?' - 1984

    by MinistryOfTruth on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:25:30 PM PDT

    •  I Say This Over Any Over Again (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jamess, Losty, MinistryOfTruth

      As a business person I have no doubt I could set-up a health care insurance company. Cover folks with no restrictions. Provide quality care, and still make money.

      If you buy a nice car these days there are all these things you have to do to ensure your warrenty doesn't get voided. I'd do the same thing with my plan.

      People that were overweight would get discounts for enrolling in a diet program or gym. Women at a certain age would have to get a breast exam. Men a prostate exam.

      I'd make sure people in my plan were healthy and we caught problems when they could more successfully be treated.

      In the end it would save me money and increase my profits.

      "In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act." - George Orwell

      by webranding on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:30:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, but (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Charles CurtisStanley

        could you cover people like me and my partner?

        I'd make sure people in my plan were healthy

        I'm on dialysis, have Type 2 diabetes (well managed), hypertension (well managed), a cervical spinal stenosis (nothing can be done about that short of surgery, it's degenerative, it's progressing), arthritis in my hands, wrists, knees, and neck (not a lot can be done about that either), overweight due not to overeating - I eat little, actually, most of the time, around 600-900 cal./day - but due to sugar being dumped in my bloodstream every night by my dialysis. I also have a very small heart murmur that went undetected despite extensive medical tests until last year. Did I mention that I need a kidney transplant? I am 49, soon to be 50.

        My partner has Type 2 diabetes (getting better managed than it was), mild hypertension (well managed), is just the wrong side of obese (losing weight, though), has a small hole in his heart (congenital, and apparently not a big deal) and diabetic neuropathy in his feet. He is 58.

        Both of us wear glasses. I need ongoing dental care, especially cleanings every 3 months, to keep my transplant eligibility and keep my periodontal disease in check.

        So what do you do to insure us, or do you?

        Living kidney donor needed; type B, O, or incompatible (with paired donation). Drop me a note (see profile).

        by Kitsap River on Sun Sep 20, 2009 at 01:49:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  And -- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess, thethinveil

    have you crossposted to Docudharma, My Left Wing, and so on?

    "The old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." -- Gramsci

    by Cassiodorus on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 06:25:45 PM PDT

  •  This is the best that we can get now and... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    is designed to get the camel's nose in the tent leading to single-payer down the road for most Americans except for the rich who will buy premium policies.

    •  Half a Loaf is better than No Loaf, right? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      But, Why can't we just tell the Bakers

      We Want More -- than half a Loaf?


      They work for Us, Right?

      at least, in theory.

      at least, according to the Constitution.


      Where is that Baker's Dozen, when we need it?

      Where have all the statesmen, and stateswomen gone?

      Where are the Senators, advocating on behalf of
      We the People?

      We obviously didn't find them,
      in the latest exercise, in search of Bi-Partisanship!

      Haah!


      Didn't Bi-Partisanship, go extinct,
      during that bygone era of searching for the answers,
      of the Blue Dress? Didn't the pitchfork wielders,
      manage to kill Bi-Partisanship then?

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

      by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 07:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Only the Uninsured Qualify for Public Option (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jamess

    Can you imagine how good it's going to be?

    The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends towards justice. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by easong on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 07:27:33 PM PDT

  •  Hopefully this one will go much farther on the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, jamess

    Rec list then the one I did about the FCA act. These two amendments, the PO and FCA are a POTENT force of real change and we should all support them.

    "I don't want a line in the Sand lines can be moved. They can be blown away. I want a six foot trench carved into granite."

    by theone718 on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 08:11:21 PM PDT

  •  I like Wyden's plan, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, jamess

    but currently it is lacking a public option.  If it has a national public option added, available to all, I could easily sign on.

    •  add one part Health Committee Bill (w Public Opt) (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River, nandssmith

      with one part Finance Committee Bill (w/ Wyden Free Choice Amendment)

      mix thoroughly in Reconciliation committee --

      And viola --

      we just might get a HRC Bill
      with a True Public Option!

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

      by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 09:42:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it's not an "option" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, jamess, good grief

    It's not even a "public option" if no one who already has insurance can join! I've been so angry about this lately and feel mislead by President Obama.

    It's like he's cleverly misleading instead of outright lying. He'll say "if you like your insurance, you can keep it". Then he doesn't finish the sentence. Although finally once last week, he did finish it, but only said "if you already have insurance, you won't be affected".

    Well, I want to be affected! I want to drop my crap insurance and join a public option, if only on principle! Wyden is the only one I see adressing this.

    And this is a direct reversal of another Obama campaign pledge. The book Change We Can Believe In, says you could join a public plan if you don't like your private insurance.

    Candidate Obama = against mandates
    President Obama = strongly in favor of mandates

    Candidate Obama = anyone can join public option
    President Obama = won't even draw a line on one, much less one anyone can join.

    Color me unimpressed with the President, and extremely disappointed.

    •  they still have time to fix the P.O. in Committee (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kitsap River

      if we wise up and start to demand it.

      POINO is NOT good enough!
      (Public Option in Name Only)

      We need Real Choice, For Everyone !!--

      and we need it, Yesterday!

      thanks for the comments, ACD

      In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act -- George Orwell

      by jamess on Sat Sep 19, 2009 at 10:13:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks jamess (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, jamess, nandssmith

    I got nearly the same take on the HELP bill when I read it a few weeks ago and thought I must be crazy since the PO is so glorified but it didn't seem like it was accessible to many people, as you so astutely figure out (That your sig line is from George Orwell carries great poetic irony in this context).

    Here's a very good (disturbing) comment:

    As it stands (5+ / 0-) the public option is only open to people the insurance companies have demonstrated they do not want by pricing them out of the market, or outright denying them. I fail to see how a public option that only accepts insurance company 'rejects' can possibly be a competitive force. (Catesby)

    Now that's a straightforward comment. How refreshing!

    I wish somebody would diagram the bills so we could visually analyze the "Gateways" and "Exchanges" and so forth, and who is qualified for each. These bills are written with purposful (Orwellian) obfuscation.
    _________________________________________
    Get on board Pennsylvania's Single Payer bill and
    national Medicare for All.

  •  If Wyden's exchange is free from corporate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kitsap River, jamess, nandssmith

    tampering, it would be good. But to have the same foxes colluding to decide who gets in the hen house, not. C'mon Ron, just write it with a Public Option!

    I'll have a Medicare Choice, Natalie, while you're up.

    by bob zimway on Sun Sep 20, 2009 at 06:20:47 AM PDT

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