Thursday, February 2, 2023
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, August 17, 2009
Obamacare: Public Option Is Not Dead Yet
By Andrew Walden @ 11:57 AM :: 5019 Views :: National News, Ethics

 

The headlines are encouraging: The AP reports, “White House appears ready to drop ‘public option’.” Politico reads, “White House backs away from public health care option.” And the front page of USA Today says, “Obama may drop public option in health care.” These headers all stem from Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ comment on CNN Sunday Morning that the public option “is not the essential element” of President Barack Obama’s health care plan. But by Sunday night the White House was already walking back Sebelius’ statement.

An anonymous administration official told The Atlantic that Sebelius “misspoke” and White House health reform communications director Linda Douglass released a statement explaining: “Nothing has changed. The president has always said that what is essential is that health-insurance reform must lower costs, ensure that there are affordable options for all Americans and it must increase choice and competition in the health-insurance market. He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals.”

Obama’s allies on the left are equally emphatic about the non-death of the public option. Democracy for America head Howard Dean told the Washington Post, “I don’t think this bill is worth passing without a public option.” And Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, told CNN, “It would be very, very difficult [to pass Obama's plan] without the public option.” But Democrats in the Senate are singing a slightly different story. Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) told Fox News Sunday that “there never have been” enough votes for a public option in the Senate, and that continuing to fight for it would be “just a wasted effort.”

But that does not mean that Americans fighting against government-run health care are out of the woods yet. Conrad insists that the Senate could pass health reform that includes health insurance co-operatives. Co-operatives do have a long and proud tradition in many sectors of the U.S. economy, but details matter. Conrad says these health co-ops will not be “government-run and government-controlled” but instead “membership-run and membership controlled.” But others in Conrad’s caucus have a starkly different co-op goal. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is pushing a vision of co-ops that are: 1) run by the government, preferably the federal government; 2) funded or subsidized by the government; or 3) includes plans chosen by the government.

If the language that comes out of the Senate looks anything like what Schumer is proposing, then there is no real difference between co-ops and the public plan. If, on the other hand, the Senate produces something that; 1) is not funded by the federal government 2) is not “government-run and government-controlled”; but instead 3) is “membership-run and membership controlled” then co-ops would be acceptable.

Of course, the public plan is just one of the more objectionable parts of Obama’s health care plan. The individual and employer mandates, the expansion and federalization of Medicaid, the creation of a new health czar, not to mention the trillion dollar cost of the new plan, are all still intact. If, as Sebelius insists, the White House wants health reform to increase “choice and competition” than there are a number of conservative alternatives in the House and Senate that do just that by pursuing health reform through a “patient-centered” approach. The White House’s rhetoric is rapidly moving away from an expert/government-centered approach to health care and towards a more market/consumer model. Let’s hope their actions start matching their words.

---30---

QUICK HITS

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT