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December 09, 2009

Meet The New Public Option, Same As the Old Public Option...Trojan for Single Payer

So the rumor is that the Senate is dropping the public option in favor of (1) tightly regulated nation-wide nonprofits which are technically private-owned, but akin to publicly-regulated utilities; (2) a massive expansion of Medicare by lowering the eligibility age; and (3) a massive expansion of Medicaid.

That sounds an awful lot like publicly-controlled healthcare to me. It has all the special disability for consumers that you get from tightly-regulated utilities and an expensive barrier to entry for private insurers. That's a recipe for single payer.

The OPM is supposed to "shepherd" these tightly-regulated nonprofits into existence, but I don't see how that happens without a healthy dose of subsidy. (These hypothetical insurers don't existence because there's no call for them in the marketplace.) So it's not like this "solution" cooked up by Democrats solves the problem that private insurers won't be able to compete with government-subsidized insurers.

More: Dave at Garfield Ridge has an interesting thought, one that, well, I should have had. Can you think of any other "tightly regulated nation-wide nonprofits which are technically private-owned, but akin to publicly-regulated utilities"? Dave did:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Welcome to political micromanaging for health outcomes. And Democrats leveraging the government-sponsored health insurers to interfere with the private market. 'Cause I need a healthcare meltdown like I need to get shot in the face. Oy.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 09:47 AM

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