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The Hill is acting like the stenographer for Sen. Carper's public option "compromise" in their recent article extolling the compromosiness of his so called "hammer" plan:

Carper’s descriptions of his idea make it sound like it could be all things to all people.

He says his aim is to address criticisms from lawmakers like Lieberman and Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) that the public option is "government-run, government-funded" by putting an outside body in charge and creating a firewall between the program and the Treasury. But this public option would be a national entity, not a collection of state plans, which is a demand of liberals.

"The hammer," as Carper calls it, shares traits with Snowe’s proposal to trigger a public option in states where private insurers do not meet established benchmarks for availability and affordability. It also jibes with Schumer’s "level-playing field" public option — the version already in the bill — because the plan must be financially self-sustaining. And the plan would be governed by a not-for-profit board, an idea similar to the healthcare cooperatives added to the bill by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.).

Excuse me while I vomit.  By the way, I really don't get why it's called the "hammer."  It should really be called the "limp noodle."  

Now, is it time to leave the public option fight for the near future possibly in the 112th Congress or the start of Obama's second term?  The reforms won't kick in until 2013 anyways, and so we have time to act on this critical issue.  

The current health care bill has its virtues namely the Medicaid expansion, insurance reform, an employer mandate, and the health insurance exchange, BUT it will never be complete until there is a viable public option to keep the insurers honest.  

With that said, I fear what sort of watered down "public option" we will get.  There may be a compromise that we can live with but if not, would it be wise to take this fight sometime else?  We already have the votes for the public option THROUGH RECONCILIATION just like how COBRA and SCHIP were enacted.

Is it better to wait and fashion a public option more to our liking through reconciliation but wait a bit longer along with the uncertainty of the future?


Should we take a compromise right now?  

I say we should take a compromise if we can live with it, but wait for reconciliation if it resembles anything close to Carper's "hammer."  


Originally posted to Senate Agenda on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:36 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Kill it & start over. (0+ / 0-)

      This try has been subverted and corporatized beyond any sensibility, and I blame Obama and the rest of the Blue Shits.  I am particularly incensed by the idea that we'll get a "mandate" to buy the shitty insurance of the healthcare-denial thieves, without any option to sign up for a generally-available, government-sponsored, Medicare-based public option, which would really constrain prices and let folks like me (58 yoa, uninsured, preexisting conditions, making just enough to be out of range of the "subsidies" yet too little to be able to afford private-thief insurance) have a chance to get real coverage.

      If nothing is passed this time, the pressure will continue to build until we get a real plan--or until it's bled off by the passing of a garbage plan like this, which will so disgust the voting population that they'll be through with the "left" and will probably swing back to the fascists. Kill this thing & start over with a real single-payer plan--however long it takes.  

      "Listen, son, said the man with the gun/There's room for you inside." [-8.62/-8.62]

      by alamacTHC on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 10:51:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  So it's dead? Again? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn, A Runner

    It's the zombie public option.

    Pessimism is an abject failure and will never live up to its promise. Skepticism as well, I have my doubts about it.

    by otto on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:38:13 AM PST

    •  The reason they can't do it is obvious (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      it was designed to fail from the beginning.

      Google "adverse selection" and "death spiral" AND insurance

      Its main function was to stop discussion of single payer by giving false hope. But they can't actually implement it because it will lose money like crazy or be way too expensive for most of us to afford, or be really crappy health care, without the cost controls of single payer.

      They can't bring down prices without single payer!

      Most of the 101,000 people who die each year of preventable causes, and 80,000 who die of careless mistakes, "have insurance"

      by Andiamo on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:35:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  All forms of MSM are doing their corporate jobs (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    which is to confuse, obsfuscate and derail HCR.

    The Republican party is sabotaging America's recovery for political gain

    by A Runner on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:38:45 AM PST

  •  What About An Executive Order? (0+ / 0-)

    Why couldn't Obama direct the HHS to make grants to local organizations that facilitate access to health care for the poor?  With appropriate monitoring, etc.

  •  Indies Want A PO (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, alamacTHC

    and so do the majority of democrats.  If congress does not pass a strong PO they will lose donors and voters in 2010 and beyond.

  •  No further comrpomises on this crap. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Big Tex, alamacTHC

    I work full-time with the FDL team on health reform thanks to your donations.

    by slinkerwink on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 07:49:41 AM PST

  •  We have a choice? (0+ / 0-)

    Bill is already in reconciliation.  Too much political capital has been expended to let it die.

    Not unless Obama has the guts to veto it.

    •  Reconciliation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      will blow holes through a wider health care reform bill.  But a public option by itself should pass muster according to reconciliation rules.  

      •  i wish they'd quit using the same word (0+ / 0-)

        for two different things.  i propose the community adopts "reconciliation" for the Senate process and "Reconciliation" for the merging of the two chambers' bills.

        I know reccing a diary feels like forwarding a funny email, but the rec list can only hold 8 items, unlike email inboxes. Think before you rec!

        by Cedwyn on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:13:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  My prediction: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    We'll end up with a "public" option that will exclude people who work at large companies, won't be robust, will include an opt-out provision that will allow states to opt out before the PO and exchange begin operation, and will be privately managed.  In addition to the "public" option, we'll also get mandates with heavy tax penalties for noncompliance, and meager subsidies (if any) that won't go nearly far enough to alleviate the financial pain these mandates create.  The bill will include pre-existing coverage requirements, which the private insurance industry will use as a pretext to further escalate the rate at which they raise their premiums, and it will do little if anything to address the spiraling cost of health care in this country.  And despite reducing the number of uninsured, millions in this country will still remain without health insurance.  In short, we'll get a bill that will be little more than a massive corporate welfare scheme.  And when it fails to makes things any better, as it inevitably will, its failure will be used to discredit the idea of any kind of government-based solution to the health care crisis.

    The Democrats, of course, will pay a steep price at the polls in 2010 and probably 2012.  And when they do, they'll inevitably blame their liberal base rather than the utter failure of elected Democrats to enact meaningful change in accordance with what were once the core values of the Democratic Party.

    Call me cynical if you like, but this is how I see things playing out.

    -7.12, -7.54 / "Health care reform will never take place until Rahm Emanuel is strangled with the entrails of Frank Luntz." - Diderot

    by Big Tex on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 08:27:14 AM PST

    •  How could they insure a sicker risk pool and not (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Big Tex, alamacTHC

      run into the same problems as the state high risk pools do? They lose money like crazy. That's why they are SO expensive.

      They cost more than private individual insurance does.

      They can't bring down prices without single payer!

      Most of the 101,000 people who die each year of preventable causes, and 80,000 who die of careless mistakes, "have insurance"

      by Andiamo on Thu Dec 03, 2009 at 09:38:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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