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I get the message. Some folks are fine with violating the Constitution if it means killing or spying, but they think that our nation will go to hell in a hand basket if Obama seizes extra executive powers in order to save lives. i.e. he allows the uninsured to sign up for Medicare. I am not sure that I understand  the logic behind this, but let's pretend for a moment that we live in a country where the president is expected to obey the law of the land (try not to snicker) and that the Constitution makes absolutely no allowance for times of crisis or national emergency, because it is better that we all die than that the letter of the law is tweaked even a teeny little bit.

Here is Plan B. It is not as sensible as Plan A---Medicare for all those whom the health insurance industry has failed to serve---but it is 100% legal.

Remember how we were told that federal employees including members of Congress have excellent insurance that does not discriminate against those with pre-existing conditions? Remember how we were told that if the free market (no laughing!) did not step up to the plate, then the companies that sell insurance to the federal government would enroll U.S. citizens, too? I remember. It sounded like a decent idea then and it sounds like an even better idea now.

Here is how it works. If HealthInsuranceRUs--hereafter to be called HIRUs--- is collecting big premiums from federal employees--most of whom are healthy---then it will be asked to collect premiums from U.S. Citizens whose insurance companies dropped them suddenly, out of the blue, just when it became clear that the insurance exchanges were already overburdened and adding millions of more uninsured would make everything worse for everyone.

HIRUS will then face a dilemma. Does it Just Say No---and lose its lucrative federal contract? Or, does it say "Sure thing, Mr. President, we will be happy to write policies for those millions of Americans who were healthy enough that some other insurer was willing to write them a policy"? If I were an HIRUs executive, I would be more than happy for the extra business---and the goodwill that I would create with the federal government officials who would just naturally think of HIRUs when---note, I write "when" not "if"---Medicare finally becomes universal and some health care giant gets a contract to run it.

In the unlikely event that HIRUs says "Sorry, Mr. President, but we are already too busy and making too much money. You will have to get some other health insurance company to collect all those premiums from all those healthy federal employees" I would then accept bids from  other health insurance companies. And, in the very, very unlikely event that no one wants all that money, I would announce "Hey, federal employees are now self insured. We're going to pool all our money and get some folks in the government to help manage our health care spending. Oh, look. We already employee a bunch of folks over at Health and Human Services. Let's contract them (at cost) to run our self insurance plan. And while we are at it, let's invite everyone who got dumped by their private company and everyone whose state refused to set up an exchange to join our great big Not-Medicare Federal-Employee-HealthInsurance RUs."

I see nothing in this plan to offend anyone--except a bunch of health insurance industry executives who currently are under the mistaken impression that they have the nation by the balls hanging over a cliff at the bottom of which burns a large and nasty bonfire.

PS As requested, here is a link about Federal Employee Health Insurance for those who do not have Google or a similar search engine. Note the part about how much money participating insurance companies rake in and how little they pay out in medical expenses. I will be very surprised if NONE of the 250 companies involved wants a piece of this pie.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, a2nite, ladybug53, Sun Tzu

    "A dog starved at his master's gate/Predicts the ruin of the state" Blake

    by McCamy Taylor on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 09:10:20 PM PST

  •  McCamy - do you actually understand how the (8+ / 0-)

    the health insurance program for federal employees actually works? If you do, you should add a paragraph early in your diary explaining it. I think when you better understand the federal employee health insurance program you will make a few other adjustments to your Plan B.  

    "let's talk about that"

    by VClib on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 09:15:36 PM PST

    •  We might start, say, with the MSP (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Multi-State Plan?

      The Multi-State Plan (MSP) Program, established under the Affordable Care Act, directs OPM to contract with private health insurers in each State to offer high-quality, affordable health insurance options called Multi-State Plans.  MSP coverage will be available in the Health Insurance Marketplace (external link).  Open enrollment for the Marketplace begins October 1, 2013, and lasts until March 31, 2014.  If you do not have access to health insurance through work, or cannot afford the coverage you have, the Marketplace may be right for you.
      OPM has efficiently administered the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program for over 50 years, keeping administrative costs low while providing strong consumer protections.  Drawing on this experience, OPM will provide strong oversight of MSP insurers and work to ensure a level playing field in the Marketplace.
  •  It would offend teabaggers big time (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    While teabaggers would probably be ok with this plan if it were restricted for good white conservatives, they would be very much opposed if it meant that blacks and other minorities would be helped.

    The teabaggers and the GOP are bunch of fascist racist misogynistic homophobes.  They are authoritarian fascists who want to turn this country into a white supremacist far-right "Christian" theocracy.  They don't believe in elections and democracy.

    And yes they are on the precipice of violence and terrorism in order to create a fascist white-racist theocratic country that is comparable to the Nazis.  Their wet dream would be a Kristallnacht against liberals, gays and minorities.   I have heard this wet dream from several teabaggers.

    Don't call these racist thugs the tea party, they are *teabaggers*! Please don't insult the original Tea Party as they were patriots. Call them TeaBaggers!

    by TeaBaggersAreRacists on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 09:23:41 PM PST

  •  Nobody's insurer is "dumping them" (0+ / 0-)

    Those who are "losing" their policies have all been steered toward ACA compliant policies which are more expensive, and since they are too affluent to qualify for subsidies (you don't have to be rich for that) they are stuck for the whole tab and howling bloody murder. This is hardly an "emergency" except in the sense of being a P.R. nightmare after Obama repeatedly guaranteed people they could keep their current plan if they wanted to, "period."

    "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

    by Alice in Florida on Sun Nov 17, 2013 at 09:35:10 PM PST

    •  Two kinds of policies being cancelled (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tamifah, a2nite, ladybug53

      1. Policies that do not meet ACA standards. These people will have other alternatives on the exchanges, some may be more expensive but some may be less expensive, especially if they qualify for subsidies.

      2. Policies that the insurance companies want to cancel so they can force people onto more expensive policies. Of course these people also have other alternatives on the exchanges but the insurance companies don't tell them that.

      •  I wouldn't be surprised if they insurance (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        a2nite, ladybug53

        companies aren't just saying "policy cancelled, have a nice day" in either case

        (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

        by Tamifah on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:54:08 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What about paying out claims? (0+ / 0-)

    that's the other part of health insurance

    not just collecting premiums

    (The above was probably snark, for the snark challenged) (The below was actually said by George W Bush in a press conference) I'm kind of stalling for time here...They told me what to say. George W Bush, 03-21-2006 10:00 EST Press Conference

    by Tamifah on Mon Nov 18, 2013 at 12:55:13 AM PST

  •  I think the problem is that U.S. enterprise, or (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    at least the commercial side, has always suckled at the public teat, expecting to get something (land, water, minerals, forest products, workers, markets, monopolies) for free -- i.e. without much effort. Doing it virtually via the intermediation of the dollar is even better. No need to get their hands dirty. That's the attraction of insurance and finance. It's a predatory but bloodless existence. Expecting these people to do more than take a cut of every dollar spent is a stretch. I'm not sure they're even qualified to make judgements as to the quality or appropriateness of the good or service on offer. (It's this recognition of incompetence which has prompted what they call "patient-centered" or "consumer-directed" health care). Althouth finance and insurance are about the future and the mitigation of risk, it seems that many of the people attracted to these enterprises have little sense of what the future is. They're like people who don't know how to swim advising, "don't go near the water." They advise that money, which is for spending, be saved. They advise caring for healthy people when it's the sick and injured who are at risk. They may just be sadistic, but they may also just be grossly incompetent and incontinent/obsessive.

    We will get to Medicare for all. But first, I think, more people have to realize that the dollar is just a measure of relative, not absolute, value and that basing functional decisions on its availability is a bad idea. Might as well decide whether a person gets lunch on the size of his waist.

  •  Won't work--Too Costly (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "For most employees and annuitants, the Government contribution equals the lesser of: (1) 72 percent of amounts OPM determines are the program-wide weighted average of premiums in effect each year, for Self Only and for Self and Family enrollments, respectively, or (2) 75 percent of the total premium for the particular plan an enrollee selects."

    For every federal employee we taxpayers put up 72% to 75% of the cost of their medical insurance.  This cannot be a plan for universal coverage.

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