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BigRedChief
12-07-2009, 08:41 AM
Senate Democrats in search of a health reform (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/healthcarereform) compromise Sunday zeroed in on a new alternative to a government-run insurance plan – signaling that the chances a final bill will include a pure public option are diminishing.

The new idea — for the government to create a national health insurance plan (http://topics.politico.com/index.cfm/topic/PublicOption) similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan – seemed to gather momentum as the weekend went on, and the differences between liberals and moderates on the public option became even clearer.

The proposal would take the place of a new government insurance plan currently included in the Senate version of the bill (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29798.html), according to officials involved with the negotiations.

The plan would be administered by the Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the federal plan for members of Congress, and all of the insurance options would be not-for-profit offered by private companies.

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), a public option opponent who is participating in the talks, said the new proposal would do away with the government insurance program (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1109/29798.html) in Majority Leader Harry Reid’s current bill, which allows states to “opt-out” of a public option.

“Seems to me it would be in lieu of the public option,” Nelson said. He also said Reid’s “opt-out” idea “is no longer being talked about.”

If the Senate goes in this direction, the challenge for Reid (D-Nev.) is framing this alternative as an acceptable compromise for progressives. Politically, the idea holds appeal for moderates, who have opposed establishing a new government insurance plan, but might also satisfy liberal demands for more choice and competition to private insurers.

“The proposal under consideration can be said to provide access to the same type of insurance plans that members of Congress and federal employees get. People think of that as government health insurance; progressives could portray this in the same vein,” said a Democratic Senate aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the negotiations. “But moderates can simultaneously point to the fact that the government isn’t the payer and say competition was enhanced without growing the government.”

From a politico article.....

Can this work without government running things? How would it be cheaper? just because it would have millions of particpants?

Taco John
12-07-2009, 09:32 AM
At this point, they should just write the words "Health Care Reform" on a blank peice of paper, vote to pass it, and tell their base that they passed health care reform.

Donger
12-07-2009, 09:36 AM
So, their alternative to a government-run insurance plan is a government-run insurance plan?

Brock
12-07-2009, 09:37 AM
No need to create a new government tit when we already have a perfectly good one?

KC Dan
12-07-2009, 09:45 AM
At this point, they should just write the words "Health Care Reform" on a blank peice of paper, vote to pass it, and tell their base that they passed health care reform.This is all that is required and at least it would be truthful and transparent

BigRedChief
12-07-2009, 09:48 AM
So, their alternative to a government-run insurance plan is a government-run insurance plan?Thats my question? How would it be different?

Donger
12-07-2009, 09:56 AM
Thats my question? How would it be different?

Well, as far as I can tell, the government-run plan presently in the Senate bill is run by HHS. I don't think this Office of Personnel Management is part of that department.

HonestChieffan
12-07-2009, 10:17 AM
Good god. Change the name and people say OH Boy look its a new idea!...

donkhater
12-07-2009, 10:19 AM
Thats my question? How would it be different?

Duh, it's got a different name.

BucEyedPea
12-07-2009, 10:30 AM
Propaganda by redefinition of words. Who do they think they're foolin'?
They think we're stupid?

Oh well, the college age generation would buy this fo' sure.
That tells me who they think are stupid.

BigRedChief
12-07-2009, 11:04 AM
Well, as far as I can tell, the government-run plan presently in the Senate bill is run by HHS. I don't think this Office of Personnel Management is part of that department.so HTF is that any different? :mad:

BigRedChief
12-08-2009, 06:35 AM
okay, the way I heard the talking heads explain this last night is that it's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna etc. private companies that would offer insurance in this plan. Just like your employer would offer different plans, but its adminstered by the private insurance company. The savings is because of the millions who would be in the plan would make it cheaper, but not a whole lot. But it would be a lot cheaper than cobra or trying to buy on the open market now.

No increase in federal spending other than setting it up. No subsidy's. Stand on its own, pay for itself.

At least thats what I hear last night. Whether thats what it actually says.....

jiveturkey
12-08-2009, 07:16 AM
okay, the way I heard the talking heads explain this last night is that it's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna etc. private companies that would offer insurance in this plan. Just like your employer would offer different plans, but its adminstered by the private insurance company. The savings is because of the millions who would be in the plan would make it cheaper, but not a whole lot. But it would be a lot cheaper than cobra or trying to buy on the open market now.

No increase in federal spending other than setting it up. No subsidy's. Stand on its own, pay for itself.

At least thats what I hear last night. Whether thats what it actually says.....
This sounds like the part of the republican plan that I liked. A giant group plan.

It would probably create a good amount of jobs too. Similar to what happened when the gov gave Medicare Advantage to the private insurance companies.

BigRedChief
12-08-2009, 07:19 AM
This sounds like the part of the republican plan that I liked. A giant group plan.

It would probably create a good amount of jobs too. Similar to what happened when the gov gave Medicare Advantage to the private insurance companies.yeah if true, I like this idea better than a government run program, but the tradeoff to get the progressives to go along is that medicare age start is to be lowered to 60 or 55 years old. That won't come cheap.

jiveturkey
12-08-2009, 07:22 AM
yeah if true, I like this idea better than a government run program, but the tradeoff to get the progressives to go along is that medicare age start is to be lowered to 60 or 55 years old. That won't come cheap.That's pretty dumb. Are they just looking for ways to spend money for the sake of spending money?

Most people are still working at that age.

RINGLEADER
12-08-2009, 08:09 AM
No increase in federal spending other than setting it up. No subsidy's. Stand on its own, pay for itself.

Don't believe it...

BigRedChief
12-08-2009, 08:19 AM
<TABLE cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=5 width=650><TBODY><TR><TD colSpan=2>http://images.politico.com/global/v3/homelogo.gif (http://www.politico.com/)</TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=2>Public option deal takes shape
By: Carrie Budoff Brown
December 7, 2009 08:35 PM EST
</TD></TR><TR><TD class=story vAlign=top colSpan=2>A potential deal took shape Monday that could eliminate the public option (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30255.html) from the Senate health reform bill, as Democrats weighed big expansions of both Medicare and Medicaid in a bid to break an impasse over the government insurance plan.

But negotiators were still struggling to craft a compromise that could satisfy moderates worried about the too-heavy hand of government — and liberals who would be giving up on their cherished goal of a federal health insurance safety net.

After five days of intensive talks among five moderates and five liberals, the outlines of a compromise aimed at appeasing both ends of the Democratic political spectrum were emerging: a plan designed to expand insurance coverage without creating a new government-run program.

Under the compromise, the public option would be removed from the bill and replaced with a new government-administered national insurance plan similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan, which serves members of Congress and federal workers.

To sweeten the deal for liberals, people 55 and older would be able to “buy-in” to Medicare and purchase coverage in the popular government program for the elderly. Liberal Democrats such as Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Sen. John Rockefeller of West Virginia have been pushing the idea for years.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (http://www.politico.com/blogs/glennthrush/1209/Reid_compares_health_care_foes_to_slavery_supporters.html) (D-Nev.) told the group they needed to reach a deal by Tuesday night, according to an official briefed on the meeting.

Howard Dean, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, injected the buy-in concept back into the negotiations two weeks ago, according to a Senate aide.

The turning point in the debate occurred over the past few weeks, as some progressives began to question whether the public option had been watered down too much for it to even be effective. Dean called Reid and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to suggest that they revisit the Medicare buy-in proposal, which he pushed during his 2004 campaign, the aide said.

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30277.html) (D-Mont.) said the Medicare buy-in “is the closest proposal thus far that can get the support of 60 senators.”

“Nothing’s final. Nothing’s close to final,” Baucus said, but added: “This just kind of feels like it’s getting legs.”

The negotiating group is also looking to expand Medicaid to cover people with incomes 150 percent above the poverty line, up from 133 percent under the Senate bill, and to impose stronger regulations on private insurers.

The potential compromise was the latest, but perhaps most important, attempt at defusing the highly charged debate over the public option. The emerging deal signals that progressives within that negotiating group have, at least on some level, conceded that the public option will not win 60 votes. Reid needs to resolve the issue in the next few days if he expects to pass the health care bill by Christmas.

“There is push and pull (http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1209/30196.html), and we have to find the right balance that satisfies the party as to how much government involvement there should be and how much private-sector involvement there should be,” Schumer said. “That has been the nub of the issue here.”

Among Senate Democrats, the most stalwart liberals and conservative moderates suggested they were at least open to the compromise but needed to see official cost estimates from the Congressional Budget Office as well as the legislative language.

“It’s got some movement,” said Rockefeller, who has been among the most vocal public option proponents. Rockefeller said the negotiators are working to get the group’s signoff by Tuesday to send a package to the CBO.

“But having said that, I just feel like I’ve jinxed it,” he said.

Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a moderate who has emerged as a key negotiator in the talks, said, “There are no insurmountable obstacles. We continue to resolve outstanding issues. There are some, but they are resolvable.”

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), an undecided moderate, said, “The discussions are going in the right direction, in moving away from a government-run plan. To the extent that they continue to go in that direction is obviously very positive.”

Still, neither side is sold.

Progressive senators reacted more positively to the developments than did activists. Their reaction to the swap of a public option for a national nonprofit insurance plan might have been best captured by a spokeswoman for one of the major groups pushing for a public plan, who wrote on her personal blog: “The latest noncompromise compromise is absolute crap and totally unacceptable.”

The new proposals raised a number of political uncertainties. Would stronger insurance regulations alienate Nelson and Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)? Would governors balk at the expansion of Medicaid, which they say severely burdens states?

And how would an expansion of Medicare exacerbate a program that is already headed toward insolvency by 2017? Doctors and hospitals have resisted broadening Medicare and Medicaid because the government reimbursement rates for both programs are lower than private insurance.

“It’s got many of the same problems I have with previous versions of the public option,” said Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), who contends that hospitals in his state would go bankrupt. “That then ties you to Medicare levels of reimbursements for a whole new population.”

Conrad’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Rockefeller. “I am really very tired of hearing about that from him,” he said. “It is always about North Dakota. It is never about any other parts of the country. That is what we are trying to do, the best thing for the country.”

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said the group was on the verge of a compromise, possibly by Tuesday afternoon.

“Will it be something that I like? No. But it’s not going to be something that the moderates or the conservatives like either ... It’s going to be one of those things in the middle that doesn’t make everyone happy.”

The ability of the negotiating to reach a compromise would break the deadlock over the public option, but any agreement would still need sign off from Reid and the White House.

For his part, Brown said the public option is not dead.

“It’s not,” Brown said as he left the negotiation session Monday night. “There’s no agreement on anything.”

Chris Frates, Patrick O’Connor and Meredith Shiner contributed to this story.
</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

mlyonsd
12-08-2009, 02:10 PM
Up to 10 million could lose employer based health care under current Senate plan....per CBO.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/08/million-lose-employer-coverage-senate-health-cbo-says/

KC Dan
12-08-2009, 02:18 PM
Up to 10 million could lose employer based health care under current Senate plan....per CBO.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/08/million-lose-employer-coverage-senate-health-cbo-says/
Yes, this is the exact same point I made to my Rep. Brian Baird. I got the numbers from the President of my company and told Baird that if there was a public option that it would be cheaper for us to drop coverage and we would. He said that my point made sense....whoopdeedoo, though he didn't vote for the House bill for other reasons.

Remember though, these 10 million people are not the ones this administration is concerned about...

BigRedChief
12-09-2009, 07:12 AM
Up to 10 million could lose employer based health care under current Senate plan....per CBO.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/12/08/million-lose-employer-coverage-senate-health-cbo-says/ How did they score a bill already when it wasn't even submitted to them until 7:00 pm last night? You are confusing the new proposal with some other version.

BigRedChief
12-09-2009, 07:13 AM
That's pretty dumb. Are they just looking for ways to spend money for the sake of spending money?

Most people are still working at that age.Are you sure your not confusing medicare and medicaid? Medicare you pay premiums based on your income. Medicaid is free, or almost free because of subsidies.

jiveturkey
12-09-2009, 07:40 AM
Are you sure your not confusing medicare and medicaid? Medicare you pay premiums based on your income. Medicaid is free, or almost free because of subsidies.I was indeed confusing the two.

I still don't see a reason to lower the age for Medicare though.

BigRedChief
12-09-2009, 07:48 AM
I was indeed confusing the two.

I still don't see a reason to lower the age for Medicare though.uhhhh so Americans 55-65 can buy cheaper insurance and without pre-exsisting conditions.

BigRedChief
12-09-2009, 01:32 PM
The Senate's 10-year, nearly $1 trillion legislation would dramatically remake the U.S. health care <NOBR id=itxt_nobr_17_0 style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 100%; COLOR: darkgreen">systemhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2_bing.gif</NOBR> (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34326187/ns/politics-capitol_hill/#) and extend coverage to millions of the uninsured, with a new requirement for nearly everyone to purchase insurance. New purchasing marketplaces called exchanges would make it easier for small businesses and people without government or employer coverage to shop for health insurance, and unpopular insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions would be banned.

The deal reached Tuesday would put even more requirements on insurers by requiring that 90 percent of premium dollars be spent on medical benefits, as opposed to administrative costs, officials said.

RINGLEADER
12-09-2009, 02:40 PM
yeah if true, I like this idea better than a government run program, but the tradeoff to get the progressives to go along is that medicare age start is to be lowered to 60 or 55 years old. That won't come cheap.

No it won't.

If it were an option that people could buy into you might be able to get some beneficial cumulative effect but all of this is just becoming incremental steps towards what they really want which is the ability to tell doctors what they will make for which procedures (and, by extension, tell us all what procedures are available).

It's not health care. It's health control.

RINGLEADER
12-09-2009, 02:42 PM
The Senate's 10-year, nearly $1 trillion legislation would dramatically remake the U.S. health care <NOBR id=itxt_nobr_17_0 style="FONT-WEIGHT: normal; FONT-SIZE: 100%; COLOR: darkgreen">systemhttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/2_bing.gif</NOBR> (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34326187/ns/politics-capitol_hill/#) and extend coverage to millions of the uninsured, with a new requirement for nearly everyone to purchase insurance. New purchasing marketplaces called exchanges would make it easier for small businesses and people without government or employer coverage to shop for health insurance, and unpopular insurance company practices such as denying coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions would be banned.

The deal reached Tuesday would put even more requirements on insurers by requiring that 90 percent of premium dollars be spent on medical benefits, as opposed to administrative costs, officials said.

What happens when the cost of all medical benefits exceeds 90%? Or 100%? What happens then? Because the only way to insure that it doesn't happen is to ration health care, raises taxes, or increase the deficit. Or, knowing this crowd, all three.

RINGLEADER
12-09-2009, 02:43 PM
uhhhh so Americans 55-65 can buy cheaper insurance and without pre-exsisting conditions.

How can you have cheaper insurance that covers pre-existing conditions? Those costs have to go somewhere. They just don't evaporate because Obama and the Dems say so.

HonestChieffan
12-09-2009, 03:03 PM
How can you have cheaper insurance that covers pre-existing conditions? Those costs have to go somewhere. They just don't evaporate because Obama and the Dems say so.

Why can't you just believe?

http://www.weaselzippers.net/.a/6a00e008c6b4e588340120a7385d74970b-500wi

Hydrae
12-09-2009, 03:20 PM
okay, the way I heard the talking heads explain this last night is that it's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna etc. private companies that would offer insurance in this plan. Just like your employer would offer different plans, but its adminstered by the private insurance company. The savings is because of the millions who would be in the plan would make it cheaper, but not a whole lot. But it would be a lot cheaper than cobra or trying to buy on the open market now.

No increase in federal spending other than setting it up. No subsidy's. Stand on its own, pay for itself.

At least thats what I hear last night. Whether thats what it actually says.....

This may be premature (have not read the entire thread yet) but I wonder how that will work in relation to each state insurance board. There is no way that they can set a price on a national level with the way things work currently. Either that or I don't understand how the system works and all the cries about wanting to be able to buy across state lines was a red herring of some kind.

KCWolfman
12-09-2009, 06:09 PM
okay, the way I heard the talking heads explain this last night is that it's Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Aetna etc. private companies that would offer insurance in this plan. Just like your employer would offer different plans, but its adminstered by the private insurance company. The savings is because of the millions who would be in the plan would make it cheaper, but not a whole lot. But it would be a lot cheaper than cobra or trying to buy on the open market now.

No increase in federal spending other than setting it up. No subsidy's. Stand on its own, pay for itself.

At least thats what I hear last night. Whether thats what it actually says.....

Pretty much. The problem is that the big boys will have to offer a not-for-profit branch of their insurance with hope that the govt will assist with annual losses. Will they do it?

If yes, they have to coalesce to govt regulation - which gives the govt a HUGE bargaining chip when it comes to the for profit branch. "Well Mr Blue Cross, you paid for a full color contrast ct scan and mri for this patient with your not for profit insurance. And you paid 85% of contracted costs, you should do the same for your patient with the for profit insurance even though it is only a small head contusion". Most insurances tried this with state Medicaid programs all across the US, and folded those branches within 5 years.

If an insurance company doesn't step up to the intense constant govt scrutiny, then a govt option would be created in that void.
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