Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Why does the Obamacare proposal even have a public option?


It's just another step toward crowding out private health insurance.

Greg Mankiw wants to know the answer to the question, too.


"It seems to me that this passage, like most discussion of the issue, leaves out the answer to the key question: Would the public plan have access to taxpayer funds unavailable to private plans?

If the answer is yes, then the public plan would not offer honest competition to private plans. The taxpayer subsidies would tilt the playing field in favor of the public plan. In this case, the whole idea of a public option seems to be a disingenuous route toward a single-payer system, which many on the left favor but recognize is a political nonstarter.

If the answer is no, then the public plan would need to stand on its own financially and, in essence, would be a private nonprofit plan.

But then what's the point? If advocates of a public plan want to start a nonprofit company offering health insurance on better terms than existing insurance companies, nothing is stopping them from doing so right now."

In other words, Team Obama is pulling the old smoke and mirrors routine here, too.


  1. "Why does the Obamacare proposal even have a public option?"

    Possibly because it's not a bad idea. More likely is so that it can be severely neutered, if not bargained completely away, in negotiations with Republicans in Congress in efforts to appear bipartisan and get more important aspects of the plan easily through.

  2. "Possibly because it's not a bad idea."

    It is an absolute outrageous idea. How the hell can you expect the government to run a massive health care program when it can not even run a minor program , in comparison, like Medicare. Medicare itself is a disaster waiting to blow.
    Another prime example of such a program would be the VA Medical care program. At one time it was a relatively smooth running organization until it was opened up and a few million who didn't actually need the care enrolled and the VA was mandated to offer treatment. What a disaster! If you don't mind waiting 3 and 4 hours for your scheduled appoint which 10 other people have the same appointment time with the same doctor who will in all probability allow you less than 5 minutes of time, probably cannot understand half of what you say because for sure one can not understand them either. Then you need to see a specialist and the appointment is made for 5 or 6 months in the future , in the mean time you just might damn well die. Now you get to see the specialist and he wants to schedule you for surgery , which of course is not his specialty so you must now have an appointment with the surgeon, another month or two, meanwhile you become more and more ill.
    Finally you see the surgeon and surgery is set, a month later maybe, if you are lucky.
    You have the surgery and while recovering you develop MRSA or sepsis because the conditions are terrible, in some hospitals the MRSA rate is well over 50%. In the one I recently was in it was 70% and the only action I could see taken was a memo posted on the bulletin board saying this was unacceptable and needed to be reduced to below 40% immediately.
    You leave the hospital and become sicker than you were when you went in for a surgical procedure and you call to let the doctor know that the medication he gave is making you sick and are told that you are now under your Primary Care Physican and need to contact them. Hell yes and it's Friday afternoon , after 5PM and Primary Care doesn't open until Monday morning. Going to the ER does no good either since they will keep you waiting 8 or more hours in a ward with 30 other sick people, making you sicker than you were before going to the ER. Monday comes and you contact the Primary Care physician who has no clue as to what has happened and you must go through an explanation, trying to remember all the details because the actual dictation has not been posted on the computer as of yet(now 4 days later).
    If this is what you desire in medical care, then have at it because that is exactly what Obamacare will bring, only worse, you may not even be considered for surgery due to age or expense of surgery and drugs will be rationed like sugar and coffee in WW2 because according to "the One" change cost money and it only follows, so do drugs such as antibotics.
    If that is what you wish , then you are not only a fool but undoubtedly you are a blithering idiot as well.

  3. I'm a fool, a blithering idiot? Nah, I didn't even say that I wanted a public option...but I do want more affordable and accessible coverage. A public option is one method that might achieve that. I'm certainly open to other methods.

    The question though was "Why does the Obamacare proposal even have a public option?" My answer is that it's most likely a political bargaining chip.

    My answer is that MOST LIKELY it

  4. "My answer is that it's most likely a political bargaining chip."

    So why does Pelosi say it's going to be in the legislation.

    Is she lying again?