Skip to main content

Last week about a dozen GOP governors announced they would not go forward with the construction of insurance exchanges in their states, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act, and since then another governor has joined them, while several others are thinking things over.  Instead, these governors are leaving it to the feds to come up with a plan for insurance exchanges in these states.

Prominent among the refuseniks are Scott Walker (WI), Bobby Jindal (LA), John Kasich (OH), and Rick Perry (TX).  They have just been joined by Mary Fallin (OK). Still debating the idea are Chris Christie (NJ), Rick Scott (FL), and Terry Branstad (IA).  The refusenik governors are generally contending that the ACA does not give them sufficient flexibility in devising the exchanges or that exchanges are inappropriate for their states.  Some are just flat pouting over the fact that with Obama's victory the ACA is now here to stay, while others are seeking political cover from challenges from their right if they appear to tea partiers to be cooperating with Obama, or capitulating to a law they, however irrationally, despise.  They also want to be able to say, when any glitches arise with the start-up exchanges, that they had nothing to do with it and that it is all Obama's fault.

However, the upshot of all this is that the Obama administration now has a golden opportunity to devise a public option model and cram it down the throats of the GOP heel-draggers.  If they don't want to do their jobs and create the insurance exchanges the law calls for, then lets take this opportunity to crush the private insurance monopolies in some of these states and replace them with a robust public option that cuts out the profit currently being gobbled up by insurance middle-men and provides better coverage.

More beneath the orange hernia scar.

If the GOP governors had taken the reins and developed their own insurance exchanges, the exchanges in their states likely would have favored private insurers and campaign contributors.  However, by kicking the ball back to the feds, they lost the ability to shape exchanges biased toward profit and left it to HHS to devise a plan for them.  Well, OK, let's give them one.  Public option.

Public option is popular, even when you factor in the massive disinformation campaign waged by the GOP, Fox, and the insurance industry when Obamacare was under consideration.  In 2010, Research 2000 surveyed likely voters in Nevada, Illinois, Washington, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado and found that in these swing states the public option was more popular than other plans on the table, such as the Senate plan.

In 2010, 82% of Obama voters who voted for Brown in Massachusetts supported the public option.

A poll from November 10 and 11, 2010, by Angus Reid Public Opinion found that 52% of Americans supported a public plan. Their research had a 3.1% margin of error.

Between October 28 and November 13, 2009, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin's campaign organization polled Americans to rank their support for various forms of the "public option" then under consideration by Congress for inclusion in the final health care reform bill. The 83,954 respondents assigned rankings of 0 to 10. A full national option had the most support, with a 8.56 average, while no public option was least favored, with a 1.10 average.

I could go on.  The point is that even with the grossly inaccurate propaganda spread about Obamacare when it was being voted on, the public option had majority support.  The Obama administration now has a golden opportunity to offer a public option plan in all of the states where Republican governors are declining to design insurance exchanges, thereby controlling and improving the quality of health care, undercutting profit-hungry private insurance companies, and bringing prescription and hospital costs under control by creating entities with powerful motives to control health care costs.

So let's take them up on their offer!

One problem is that there is currently no funding mechanism for the HHS to create the insurance exchanges.  However, public option models exist in some states that might be adapted relatively easily, and Secretary Sebelius can almost certainly free up enough staff for a task force to create a model that can be modified as needed state-by-state.  Communities like this one can also serve as a source of ideas and connections to knowledge centers in individual states.  More importantly, we can push the administration for the kind of public option that will provide quality universal coverage at the lowest cost.  But we need to get cracking.  The exchanges need to be open for enrollment by October, 2013, and the exchanges are set to start operating on January 1, 2014.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Absofuckinlutely! n/t (5+ / 0-)

    Yeah, we won. Now, let's kick some progressive ass!

    by cyeko on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:47:41 PM PST

  •  No, not public option. Medicare buy-in. (12+ / 0-)

    You can't scare people into freaking out over Medicare. You can't demonize it the way you can a public option.

    Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

    by teresahill on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 05:48:20 PM PST

    •  Medicare eligibility is statutory (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      You can't get Medicare unless the Medicare statute says you're eligible (over 65 with enough work experience, disabled, kidney disease, etc.).  President Obama doesn't have the authority to extend Medicare to anyone that isn't specified.  In order to do that, the law would need to be changed, which would require a "yes" vote from the republican House.

  •  From what I recall (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FloridaSNMOM, Laura Wnderer, ferg, BasharH

    from the ACA bill as it was formed, there is already a one-page document that exists, and if passed by congress and signed by the president, would allow for the public option to become law as part of the ACA.

    The problem now would be getting it through the House (probably virtually no chance) and then a Senate filibuster (although filibuster reform on Day 1 of the new Senate session could fix this) with the Senate.

    I like this idea here, but just could see the rw heads spinning around in circles like they're getting an exorcism with this solution.  

  •  Good diary overall... (0+ / 0-)

    ...but you need to lose  this line:

    In 2010, Research 2000 surveyed likely voters in...
    Research 2000 was exposed some time ago as a complete fraud.

    Article 196. Health care is a right of all persons and an obligation of the State, guaranteed through social and economic policies that provide...universal and equitable access to programs and services....

    by SLKRR on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:24:08 PM PST

  •  Start with Kasich. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Bully boy needs a lesson. Oh well, we're going to crush his ass in 2014 if he dares to run again. And if he doesn't, we'll crush Jon Husted's.

    Take the "Can't(or)" out of Congress. Support E. Wayne Powell in Va-07.

    by anastasia p on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:51:02 PM PST

  •  Please don't list Minnesota (5+ / 0-)

    as a swing state!  This isn't Fox News.

    In 2010, Research 2000 surveyed likely voters in Nevada, Illinois, Washington, Missouri, Virginia, Iowa, Minnesota, and Colorado and found that in these swing states the public option was more popular than other plans on the table, such as the Senate plan.
    We voted out teabagger Chip Cravaack, turned both of our state houses back into Democratic hands, very nearly voted out the lunatic M. Bachmann, and we have a very progressive governor in Mark Dayton.

    Of course, Obama easily took Minnesota.  Additionally, we voted down two disgusting proposed amendments to our state constitution:  Voter ID, and limiting marriage.

    Minnesota is true blue!

    Stand Up! Keep Fighting! Paul Wellstone

    by RuralLiberal on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 06:52:14 PM PST

    •  Beyond this (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RuralLiberal, bluebuckaroo

      let it be noted that the incoming DFL chairs of health care committees in both the Minnesota House and Senate have been strong supporters of health care reform and of Obama's efforts.

      I also know that the incoming House Majority Leader will be Rep. Erin Murphy, who is an RN and had done nursing instruction at University of St. Catherine's. Imagine! A nurse in charge of the House as the state implements health care reform.

      Could be a couple good years in Minnesota.


      "God has given wine to gladden the hearts of people." Psalm 104:15

      by WineRev on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:33:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Washington isn't a swing state (0+ / 0-)

      Humanity is one family ... with one heart.

      by abarefootboy on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 10:06:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I Think People in Red States May Have An Option (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bluebuckaroo, ybruti, Catlady62, BasharH

    Here’s a NY Times article from a few weeks ago: U.S. Set to Sponsor Health Insurance. (By the way, it’s not hard to include links in your diaries).

    Under the Affordable Care Act, at least one of the nationwide plans must be offered by a nonprofit entity. Insurance experts see an obvious candidate for that role: the Government Employees Health Association, a nonprofit group that covers more than 900,000 federal employees, retirees and dependents, making it the second-largest plan for federal workers, after the Blue Cross and Blue Shield program.
    To be eligible to participate in the multistate program, insurers must be licensed in every state. The Government Employees Health Association recently bought a company that has the licenses it would need.
    So, yee haw, GEHA! They might provide a nationwide non-profit way to get healthcare, whether the red states set up exchanges or not.

    But the angle said to them, "Do not be Alfred. A sailor has been born to you"

    by Dbug on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 07:57:18 PM PST

    •  That'll be both ironic and dissappointing (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Why do the red states get public option first?

      Republicans are far more socialist than Democrats. Just because they want to redistribute the wealth upwards does not make it any better.

      by MrAnon on Mon Nov 19, 2012 at 08:09:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blue Cross used to be a non-profit (0+ / 0-)

      Just because GEHA is non-profit, doesn't mean it will stay that way.  It is just an insurance company. It may sound like a public option, but it isn't.

      Money is a powerful corruptor, which is one of the problems with our third-party-payer system, that third-party sees all that cash flowing through it and invariably wants to keep larger and larger pieces.

      Public option, like Medicare or VA for everyone, would be a cheaper solution, but really not on the table in the exchange model. Unfortunately.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site