Posts Tagged ‘public option’
August 31st, 2010 at 10:28 am
Another Consequence of ObamaCare: Public Hospitals Closing as Mandates Loom
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As ObamaCare’s new mandates and costs approach, public hospitals that often constitute healthcare of last resort are closing.

Over 1,000 of the nation’s 5,000 hospitals are publicly owned, established by philanthropic contributions in order to provide free or reduced-cost care to the poor.  Unfortunately, as noted by The Wall Street Journal, these caregivers simply do not possess the scale to withstand ObamaCare:

Local officials also predict an expensive future as new requirements – for technology quality accounting and care coordination – start under the health care law enacted in March.  Moody’s Investors Service said in April that many stand-alone hospitals won’t have the resources to invest in information technology or manage bundled payments well.  Many non-profits have bad credit ratings and in a tight credit market cannot borrow money, either.  Meanwhile, the federal government is expected to cut aid to hospitals…  ‘By the nature of their small size, their independence and their political entanglements, they are poorly equipped to survive,’ said James Burgdorfer.”

So once again, the Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime collides with the law of unforeseen and unintended consequences, at the expense of Americans already stretched thin.

August 20th, 2010 at 10:54 am
White House Allies: Abandon Claim that ObamaCare Will Reduce Deficit/Costs
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Ohhhh, so ~now~ they tell us?  White House allies are instructing operatives to abandon the claim that ObamaCare will reduce healthcare costs and the deficit.  Instead, they now seek to persuade the electorate that we can “improve it.”

According to Politico, the messaging conference call and PowerPoint presentation acknowledges the failure of the promises shamelessly fed to the public by ObamaCare advocates:

The presentation’s final page of ‘Don’ts’ counsels against claiming ‘the law will reduce costs and the deficit.’  The presentation advises, instead, sales pitches that play on personal narratives and promises to change the legislation.”

If this doesn’t make you angry and ready to line up at dawn to vote this November, have your pulse checked.

January 21st, 2010 at 12:36 pm
Pelosi: We Don’t Have the Votes to Pass Senate Health Care Bill
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Any Democratic pipe dream about quick passage of their health care plan was shot down today.  Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House simply doesn’t have the votes to pass the Senate version of the bill.

This means the bill will not likely be on the President’s desk by his second third fourth fifth sixth deadline, which was supposed to be the State of the Union.  The House will need to make changes and then pass those amendments on to the Senate, with their reduced majority.

The path for health care now follows moderates in the House and Senate.  After hearing the Massachusetts wakeup call loud and clear (presumably), it will be moderates that decide the fate of the bill.  It will be much harder for partisans in leadership to whip members when the political environment is so hostile for Democrats.

The best case scenario (worst case for taxpayers) is that Democrats cobble together enough votes to pass a shell of health care reform: expand Medicare and Medicaid, and ban discrimination against pre-existing conditions.  There doesn’t appear to be enough votes for a government-run public option or an individual mandate.

December 28th, 2009 at 1:31 pm
Obama Labeling It A “Victory” Doesn’t Make It One
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If the Senate’s hyperpartisan Christmas Eve healthcare vote and the Copenhagen climate summit “agreement” constitute “victories” for Barack Obama, one would fear to see anything he’d acknowledge a “failure.” 

At every opportunity, the White House, liberal pundits and media apologists herald both as victories for a foundering presidency.  But just as Obama’s performance has failed to remotely match his lofty campaign rhetoric, neither one comes anywhere close to his professed goals. 

After all, remember the government-run, single-payer system that Obama said was his goal prior to his presidency?  No sign of it in the Senate healthcare bill.  In fact, the bill doesn’t even contain the “robust public option” that Obama sought after he realized single-payer was a bridge too far.  And remember how he demanded them before the August Congressional recess?  Some “victory.” 

And the same goes for the silly Copenhagen climate summit.  Obama arrogantly trumpeted a historic “agreement,” but the only agreement was an agreement-to-agree-to-something-to-be-agreed-upon-at-some-future-climate-summit.  There were none of the economically-crippling carbon limits demanded by environmental extremists, and none of the billions (trillions?) of largess demanded by developing nations. 

The reality is that Obama needes something – anything – to create the mirage of accomplishment for a White House that has failed so miserably that his approval is lower than any President in history at this stage.   His minions and media chorus may label these things “victories,” but that doesn’t make it so.

December 17th, 2009 at 12:22 pm
Understanding the Public Option in 41 Seconds
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December 11th, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Harry Reid: The Boy Who Killed His Parents and Pleaded Orphan Status
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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D – Nevada) appeared on the verge of tears on the Senate floor yesterday, lamenting criticisms lodged against him.

His complaint?  That those big, bad, meanie Republicans had the audacity to question his personal judgment in scooting off to a Louisiana fundraiser, even while he threatens to keep the Senate in session into the holidays to address healthcare legislation.  Voice cracking, he feigned heartbreak that criticisms against him could become so “personal.”  He professed an inability to fathom how supposed “friends” from across the aisle could “embarrass or denigrate” him in such a cruel, cruel manner.

This is the same Harry Reid who, just three days earlier, compared opponents of his healthcare legislation to those who defended slavery and opposed the Civil Rights Act.  Never mind that the Republican Party originated from opposition to slavery, or that Republicans voted for the 1964 Civil Rights Act in higher proportions than Democrats.  Factual realities are apparently no more relevant to Harry Reid than is a sense of personal decorum and judgment.

In this way, he is like the proverbial boy who murdered his parents only to later plead for mercy as an orphan.  He started a fight, but didn’t like it when his targets fought back.  In less than one year, Nevada voters will have their opportunity to render judgment on Reid’s plea.  According to the latest polls, they are apparently unamused.

December 10th, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Ding Dong the Public Option is Dead … Or is it?
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No, the munchkins didn’t proclaim this, but the liberal Huffington Post did.

The supposedly good news (for Republicans, libertarians, Whigs, patients, taxpayers and moderate Democrats who like their current office space) was reported today by Ryan Grim.  He noted sarcastically, “The public health insurance option died on Thursday, December 10, 2009, after a months-long struggle with Senate parliamentary procedure.  The time of death was recorded as 11:12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time.”

Apparently Nancy Pelosi read the political tea leaves and noticed that voters simply won’t tolerate a government-run public option.  When questioned, it took Pelosi about two-hundred words to essentially say that the House would accept the Senate “compromise” to drop the public option in exchange for lowering the eligibility age for Medicare enrollment.

But make no mistake.  This is no cause for celebration.

Some Democrats are actually excited, hoping that expanding an already financially strapped Medicare system will pave the way for a true single-payer socialized system.  Indeed, as Brian Faughnan of noted earlier today, the idea is actually the brain child of Howard Dean, who proposed a similar plan during his 2004 presidential bid.   And why is Dean, who is a strong proponent of a single-payer system and has been critical of his fellow Democrats for not going far enough in their efforts to put the government in charge of your health care, supportive of this so-called compromise?  As Faughnan writes:

The reason Dean likes this compromise – the reason he proposed this compromise – is that he would rather have the government bureaucracy in charge of people’s health care plans than private insurance companies. That’s one point of view. Some may agree with it; others not. But it seems the real value of this proposal to Dean is that it ‘moves the ball’ toward a single-payer health care system.”

November 4th, 2009 at 10:42 am
Big Health Care, Big Government
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H.R. 3962, Speaker Pelosi’s attempt at a government takeover of health care weighs in at 1,990 pages.  However, there are a few reading guides available to save your eyes, and your sanity.

The House Republican Conference has done the dirty work and compiled a list of all the new boards, bureaucracies, commissions and programs created in the House health care bill.  There are over 111.  Here are a few highlights:

  • Health Benefits Advisory Committee (Section 223, p. 111)
  • Qualified Health Benefits Plan Ombudsman (Section 244, p. 138)
  • Health Insurance Exchange (Section 201, p. 155)
  • “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321, p. 211)
  • Ombudsman for “Public Health Insurance Option” (Section 321(d), p. 213)
  • Demonstration program providing reimbursement for “culturally and linguistically appropriate services” (Section 1222, p. 617)
  • Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research (Section 1401(a), p. 734)
  • Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (Section 1907, p. 1198)
  • Healthy Teen Initiative grant program regarding teen pregnancy (Section 2526, p. 1398)
  • Program of Indian community education on mental illness (Section 3101, p. 1722)
  • Urban youth treatment center demonstration project (Section 3101, p. 1873)
October 27th, 2009 at 2:55 pm
Markets Down on ‘Public Option’
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According to, the online prediction market, Harry Reid’s (D-NV) announcement of a modified public option put the chances of ObamaCare’s passage on the ropes.

Earlier this month, markets gave the public option a 30 percent chance of passing before December 31, 2009.  After Reid’s announcement of a “compromise” bill, the odds are now just 7.1 percent, according to intrade.

Let’s hope the market is right, as it usually is in all aspects of life.  Call your Senator at 202-224-3121 and tell them to oppose Senator Reid’s pathetic attempt at health care “reform.”

October 26th, 2009 at 4:35 pm
In the Nut House with Nancy
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From the Associated Press:

A government-sponsored ‘public option’ for health care lives, though it may be more attractive to skeptics if it goes by a different moniker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Monday.

“In an appearance at a Florida senior center, the Democratic leader referred to the so-called public option as ‘the consumer option.’  Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., appeared by Pelosi’s side and used the term ‘competitive option.’

“Both suggested new terminology might get them past any lingering doubts among the public – or consumers or competitors.”

Read the full article here.

October 21st, 2009 at 3:51 pm
Medicare Part E? The New Public Option

P.T. Barnum, the American businessman, politician and showman remembered most for his celebrated hoaxes, is widely credited with coining the phrase, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  Judging by the fortune he was able to acquire on his traveling band of circus freaks, one would be hard-pressed to argue Barnum’s point.  Indeed today, nearly 150 years later, the so-called leaders of the current Congress are seemingly taking Barnum’s words to heart.

“Medicare for Everyone” — That’s the headline branded above the fold today on the front page of the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.  The accompanying story leads with:

Say hello to ‘Medicare Part E’ — as in, ‘Medicare for Everyone.’

“House Democrats are looking at re-branding the public health insurance option as Medicare, an established government healthcare program that is better known than the public option.

“The strategy could benefit Democrats struggling to bridge the gap between liberals in their party, who want the public option, and centrists, who are worried it would drive private insurers out of business.”

In other words, Congressional Democrats have resorted to scheming up a public relations re-branding campaign in an effort to sell their government-run public option (the hoax) to an American public (in their minds, the sucker) that has thus far rejected it at every turn.

Step right up folks!  Welcome to the modern day version of “The Greatest Show on Earth” that is “health care reform.”

October 21st, 2009 at 11:27 am
A Bill of Requirements, Not Choice
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Proponents of ObamaCare have couched their language in terms familiar to conservatives and libertarians: choice, option and freedom.  We’ve been told that a ‘Public Option’ will be available to compete with private health care companies.  White House officials want Americans to forget that more than 88 million patients could lose their private health care and be forced into the government option.

Peering into Harry Reid’s newest health care incarnation, which you can read here (with our commentary here), the new Senate health care bill is all about force, not choice.  In the first 100 pages alone, there are dozens of examples of “requirements” on doctors, patients, states and the federal government.

Here is a brief snippet of what to expect.  Of course, this represents just over 6% of the new mandates and regulations contained in the 1,502 page bill.  Unfortunately, most of the language below is completely unintelligible.

1) Requiring that all new health benefits plans offered to individuals and employees in the individual and small group markets be qualified health benefits plans.

2) SEC. 2201. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS: New plans must be qualified health benefits plans. Each State shall provide that each health benefits plan which is offered in the individual or small group market within the State shall be a qualified health benefits plan.

3) An offeror of a plan shall not be treated as meeting the requirements of this subsection unless the plan also accepts, renews, or continues in force coverage of an individual who is eligible for enrollment in the plan by reason of their relationship to the named insured under the plan.

4) Each offeror of a health benefits plan shall establish annual and special enrollment periods meeting the requirements of section 2236(d)(2).

5) Each State shall establish 1 or more rating areas within that State for purposes of applying the requirements of this title.

6) The contribution amount for any plan year may be based on the percentage of revenue of each offeror or on a specified amount per enrollee and may be required to be paid in advance or periodically throughout the plan year.

7) An employment based plan meets the requirements of this paragraph if the plan—provides benefits appropriate for individuals between the ages described in subsection (a)(2)(C) and that are certified as so appropriate by the Secretary; implements programs and procedures to generate cost-savings with respect to participants with chronic and high-cost conditions; and provides documentation of the actual cost of medical claims involved and for which reimbursement is sought under this section.

8 ) Each State shall phase in the application of the insurance reform requirements under subpart 1 to grandfathered health benefits plans offered in the small group market within the State.

9) SPECIAL RULE FOR RATING REQUIREMENTS — A State law shall not be treated as offering more protection to consumers than the protection offered by such requirements if the State law imposes ratios that are greater than the ratios specified in section 2204(b).

10) Each State shall — require each offeror of a qualified health benefits plans offered through an exchange — to provide an internal claims appeal process; to provide notice in clear language and in the enrollee’s primary language of available internal and external appeals processes and the availability of the ombudsman established under section 2229(a) to assist them with the appeals processes.

11) PLAN REQUIREMENTS — An offeror meets the requirements of this subsection with respect to a qualified health benefits plan if the plan offers a benefits package that is uniform in each State in which the plan is offered and meets the requirements set forth in paragraph (3) the offeror is licensed in each State; the offeror meets all requirements of this title with respect to a qualified health benefits plan, including the requirement to offer the silver and gold levels of the plan in each exchange in the State for the market in which the plan is offered; and the offeror determines the premiums for the plan in any State on the basis of the ratings rules in effect in that State for the ratings areas in which it is offered.

12) The State provides that the amount of the monthly premium an eligible individual is required to pay for coverage under the standard health plan for the individual and the individual’s dependents.

13) The amount of the monthly premium an individual is required to pay under either the standard health plan or the applicable second lowest cost silver plan shall be determined after reduction for any premium credits and premium subsidies allowable with respect to either plan.

14) The Secretary shall each year conduct a review of each State program to ensure compliance with the requirements of this section.

15) INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE PROVIDED BY APPLICANTS: An applicant for enrollment in a qualified health benefits plan offered through an exchange shall provide the information required by any of the following paragraphs that is applicable to an enrollee.

September 28th, 2009 at 10:41 am
Public Option Still a Focus in Health Care Debate

“Stick a fork in it.  The public health insurance option is dead!”

That’s what the so-called “experts,” commentators and junkies have been saying for weeks.  Yet, nothing could be further from the truth.  Jeffrey Young, in The Hill today, writes:

The spotlight this week will continue on the Senate Finance Committee, where amendments to add the public insurance option will be offered by Democratic Sens. Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.) and Chuck Schumer (N.Y.).

“The issue will also continue to be a battle in the House, where liberal and centrists Democrats are fighting over whether it should be included in a House healthcare bill.”

Despite the public furor, town hall meetings and taxpayer marches — all focused, at least in part, in opposition to a government-run insurance plan — the politicians in Washington are not debating whether there should be a government takeover of health care.  Rather, they are fighting over how how much of a government takeover of your health care they can get away with.

Quick question:  If the election were held today, would you vote for your current representative and Senators?

September 24th, 2009 at 3:45 pm
Rahmbo: Public Option Can’t Pass Senate
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For those wondering whether the public option will ever get through the Senate, the White House chief of staff just answered the question.

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff, gave an interview with Charlie Rose last night and stated that a public option could not pass the Senate.  I wonder if that includes the “co-op” that the Senate Finance Committee is currently considering.

Here is the link to the interview.

For those unsure about the “Rahmbo” reference, click here.

September 21st, 2009 at 2:37 pm
Video: We Support the Public Option, As Long has Americans Don’t Have Options
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This video, an interview with White House Senior Adviser David Axelrod, demonstrates how health care “choice” is fine for the White House, as long as the government chooses.  People can choose the Public Option, but people cannot choose to purchase health insurance across state lines because the government makes it illegal. HT: Andy Roth.


September 9th, 2009 at 12:45 pm
Obama to Again Endorse Public Option in Speech Tonight

During his speech to a joint session of Congress this evening, President Obama will again endorse the idea of a government-run public health insurance option.  This, according to some staffers in Congress and despite the public outrage against it.

In doing so, many insiders have hinted that while Obama will make a soft endorsement of the controversial provision, he is also likely the hedge his bets to leave open the possibility for further negotiations with Congressional moderates. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the other hand continues to insist that a public health insurance option must be part of any final bill in order for it to pass in the House of Representatives.  Pelosi continues to get a lot of heat from progressives in her caucus (as many as 100 of them), who claim they will vote “No” on any bill that doesn’t include the government-run public option.

After a heated August recess on the health care issue, the Kabuki Dance that the President performs tonight should be interesting.  As Congressman Mike Pence, Chairman of the House Republican Conference, stated this morning, “The American people have spoken. Tonight we’ll see if Washington is listening.”

We’re not holding our breaths.

August 17th, 2009 at 3:42 pm
White House Aide: Obama Still Favors Public Option

The extreme Left, led by Former Dem Party Chairman Howard Dean, is up in arms over the Administration’s hint that it may willing to forgo a government-run public insurance option in an attempt to strike a deal on health care reform.  And it appears the Deaniacs are having an impact.

CNN is reporting that White House Aide Linda Douglass has sent out a written statement making clear the President still supports the “public option.” 

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The White House sought to reassure jittery supporters Monday that President Obama is not abandoning the fight for a public health insurance option.

President Obama “believes the public option is the best way” to reform health care, a White House aide says.

The assurance came amid a media firestorm ignited over the weekend by administration officials seeming to indicate a willingness to drop such an option in order to secure congressional approval of a health care reform bill.

“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,” White House aide Linda Douglass said in a written statement.

“He believes the public option is the best way to achieve those goals.”