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September 02, 2009

Hennessey: Removal of the Public Option Doesn't End Mortal Threat to Private Insurers [jdub]

With all the talk today about Obama’s possible introduction of the “public option” component of HealthCareReform to the ventral aspect of a large passenger conveyance, it’s worth keeping in mind something Keith Hennessey noted a little while ago. He calls the bill a “belt-and-suspenders” plan, and suggests somewhat compellingly that even with the public option gone, the bill will likely still create a framework within which private insurers are driven out of business or undergo de facto nationalization:

The ultimate fear of having a government-run “public” option is that it will crowd out private health insurance, and that ultimately most Americans will be getting their insurance from the government. At the same time, I hope that opponents of Kennedy-Dodd and the developing House Democrats’ health care bills don’t miss a critical point. Even if the public option is successfully stricken from this legislation, the Kennedy-Dodd goals will be largely achieved by other parts of the bill.

[…]

If the government determines benefits, cost-sharing, relative premiums, expenses, and profits, and can take funds from one health plan and give them to another, then the insurance function is governmental.

He lays the specifics out at the link.

So, while there are encouraging signs on the HealthCareReform front, it’s important to remember that there are many different and damaging elements within the proposed bill(s,) and that the removal of the public option is not an all-clear.

Unrelated but magnificent performance art below the fold.


Ukrainian Woman Recreates Second World War In Sandbox

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