White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag
Do you believe the Sunday spin on the White House’s alleged “retreat” from the Obamacare public option?
Video of HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’s pooh-poohing of the public option provision is here.
Politico says the White House has “backed away.”
I’m not buying the hype. Are you?
Late Sunday, the health care czar’s office said Sebelius “misspoke.”
Besides, the public option provision can always be stuffed back in via a 3am manager’s amendment or during the House/Senate conference to reconcile each chamber’s Obamacare bills.
As for Democrat Sen. Kent Conrad’s health care “co-op” idea, the devil — as always — is in the details.
Edmund Haislmaier pointed out a few weeks ago at The Foundry:
If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.
However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”
Distrust and verify.