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Much has been made in this community about the so called "Opt-out" public option compromise. The general consensus is that it isn't as good as a plain old, normal public option, but it's much better than Olympia Snow's trigger. What has surprised me is how little discussion there has been on the actual mechanism for opting out, especially considering how much momentum the opt-out plan has gained in recent days.

Here's my plan for how to opt out.

  1. Both houses of the state legislature must pass a resolution saying the state wishes to opt out. If possible, there should be a requirement that it passes with a two thirds majority - or, at the very least, whatever majority is needed to survive a filibuster in the rules of that particular state legislature.
  1. The Governor of the state must sign the resolution.
  1. Next November, the public gets a chance to vote on the resolution. If it is not passed by a majority of the voters, it needs to be passed again by next year's state legislature and Governor and voted on again.
  1. After the "opt out" passes all three of these tests, it is put into effect for five years. After the five years have passed, it needs to go through steps 1-3 again. If it doesn't, the state automatically opts back in.

By this system, it would be all but impossible for any state to successfully opt-out - and even if it did, it wouldn't be able to sustain itself for very long. Feel free to add more steps in the comments. My goal is to start building momentum for an opt out process that will lead to very few, if any, states actually opting out.

Because Democrats in Oregon don't deserve health care more than Democrats in Texas.

Next - here's the other thing that we as progressives need to start addressing - when will the public option actually kick in? This 2013 stuff is absolutely terrible. After Obama is re-elected? No way. Ideally, it would kick in summer of 2010 - soon, and right before the mid-term elections. But a public option that kicks in after 2012 is a bad idea. It's bad politics, and it means hundreds of thousands of more dead people killed by lack of insurance. We need a fast acting public option!

Originally posted to Mikesco on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 09:38 AM PDT.


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Comment Preferences

    •  2013 is out there to lower the cost of the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, oysterface

      legislation and it will take time to build it up since unfortunately it seems that we aren't going to be using the Medicare framework already in place.

      Let's remember that we should care about people even after they're born. - A. Grayson

      by IL JimP on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 09:42:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We Need More Government Plans (0+ / 0-)

        We should be able to get up to half a dozen federal plans and then 2 for every state.

        All to avoid losing Snowe by expanding Medicare.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 10:26:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  How about opting out of health insurance? (0+ / 0-)

    There's nothing wrong at all in your pondering the tactical considerations of countering the Republicans' convoluted attempts to delay, water down and, if possible, derail real health care reform. However, let us not lose sight of what we're all really trying to get, universal, publicly-financed, single-payer health care.

    We're not going to get a real health care system in this country through any mechanism that channels public money to private insurance companies. They add no value whatsoever and ration health care to consumers. The insurance companies all rake off 30% of premiums for "administration" and profit. These extortionists should be cut out completely.

    Opt out?  Yes!  Let's all do it individually and crush the bastards using the power of the market! If your premiums are high, you have a pre-existing condition or your policy has been rescinded, then just stop looking for insurance. You'll have to pay out of pocket anyway because of high deductibles, exclusions and cancellation.  Why not save thousands of dollars per year and apply the money to ad hoc health care from carefully selected providers?

    If no one buys policies, then the insurance companies will be driven out of business and we can vote in free public health care. If everyone writes their representative in Congress and both senators, and maintains that they will lose their support unless the member of Congress votes for single-payer, then we will get it. Stop paying premiums to crooked insurance companies and pony up campaign funds for single-issue candidates who are ardent health care champions.

  •  Opt-Out of Insurance for Profit (0+ / 0-)

    If there is an Opt-Out option for the 'public option' included in legislation,  then there should also be an Opt-Out for the 'Insurance for Profit'.

  •  The problem is (0+ / 0-)

    that no one knows how the opt-out would be implemented. There's nothing in the proposal(s) that I know of that defines the process.

    Pawlenty of MN has said (I think) that he would opt out by Governor's (decree? edict?) I don't know what US state governors can do on their own. It may depend from state to state.

    Your solution seems high-minded but unenforceable.


    I get "suaviter in modo", Mr President. May we now have some "fortiter in re"?

    by tapu dali on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 12:31:30 PM PDT

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