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Bowing to Pressure Public Option May Be Dropped

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, August 17, 2009 11:26 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: Big Insurance, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Health Care Reform, President Obama

Health care reform options seem to be narrowing as the President indicates he may forgo the public option to insurance.

Public Option Critical

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IMAGE SOURCE: Los Angeles Times Web site/ waiting outside the Forum before dawn

The so called “public option” of President Obama’s health care makeover created a government-run public insurance option, similar to Medicare, to compete with private companies.

Insurance giants fought the option very publicly.

Backed by an ad campaign launched by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and its pro-industry, ResponsibleHealthReform.org, which represents large insurers, and unsubstantiated fears raised by some of “death panels,” the flash point for anger and opposition now has the President rethinking the public option.

Appearing on CNN, Kathleen Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, said Sunday the public option was “not the essential element” for reform. She raised the idea of a nonprofit cooperative that could be considered in the Senate as an alternative to government run insurance program.

Appearing at a town hall meeting Saturday in Grand Junction, Colorado, Mr. Obama seemed to play down the significance of the public option, but others feel it is the key to reform.

Howard Dean, one time presidential candidate, former Vermont governor, and a medical doctor tells the CBS Early Show he is angry.

“There are too many people who understand, including the president himself, the public option is absolutely linked to reform. You can’t have reform without the public option. If you really want to fix the health-care system, you’ve got to give the public the choice of having such an option,” reports the New York Times.

Giving up the public option puts the president in the precarious position of angering Democrats while at the same time deflating the Republic argument of a government takeover of health care.

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to produce a bill with a proposed nonprofit co-operative, offering insurance, not unlike rural electric and agricultural co-ops, run by their members.

With the public option, the government would back a plan available to consumers through a health exchange giving individuals the ability to buy either public or private insurance, whichever best fits their needs. The private plans would be forced to become more competitive.

Has Big Insurance Won?

Business Week reports in its August 6 issue, “The Health Insurers Have Already Won.”

“The industry has already accomplished its main goal of at least curbing, and maybe blocking altogether, any new publically administered insurance program that could grab market share from the corporations that dominate the business...[It has] also achieved a secondary aim of constraining new benefits that become available to tens of millions of people who are currently uninsured. That will make the new customers more lucrative to the industry."

The Center for Media and Democracy reports the insurance industry has taken the playbook from the tobacco industry to scuttle the public health option.

In her column, Helen Thomas, dean of the White House Press corps, who has been on the job for more than 40 years writes:

"I covered the battle to create the Medicare system back in the 1960s. The cries of 'socialized medicine' worked for years until President Johnson rammed Medicare through Congress in 1965...

What kind of a nation are we if we do not provide everyone with the excellent medical care that only some of us now receive?”

The recent free health care events sponsored by the nonprofit group, Remote Area Medical (RAM), have drawn thousands of uninsured and underinsured around the country, which are estimated to be 47 million, underscoring the need for change. #


4 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by BCV
Monday, August 17, 2009 12:09 PM EST

What is the point without the public option and reduced drug prices. WTF are all you afraid of? He’s only said a thousand times “it will not affect the insured”. Would you please shut up and let the less fortunate folk get some care already!!!!

I’m 41, a roofer since 16 (broken home). I have never had any insurance. Not exactly a priority for us poor folk. The light bill and food out weight it. So for the love of god would you please tell me why all the INS people don’t want folks like myself to get care????

Oh my children are covered by Medicaid (which you morons pay for) but If mom or me gets hit in the head, oh well… Stupid.

Here’s a novel idea let the mac daddy (obama) make it affordable and I can get my family covered and off the tax payers plan.

But hey you genius have it all figured out right? Then keep paying (taxes) and we’ll keep pumping them out for you to cover… thx… lol… stupid…

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, August 17, 2009 1:02 PM EST

BCV -

As we say in journalism - Follow the Money - and you will find who is most opposed to health care reform.

The machine is being run by the industries with the most to profit, headed by the U.S. Chamber. They have a lot of money to spend and are doing so. Fear is a good motivator, and it's working.

I'm sorry for your predicament, and you are right, we are all paying for it.

The Center for Media and Democracy link above is very enlightning. They have, for years, looked behind campaigns to the source and when you Follow the Money, you always find your answer.....

Anonymous User
Posted by James
Monday, August 17, 2009 1:44 PM EST

Insurance CEOs are crooks.

Insurance CEOs use our premium dollars to pay for lucrative CEO bonuses, pay for their million dollar mortgages and buy out politicians, but as soon as someone who has paid their premiums for years gets too sick for their threshold of costs to cover your illness, they drop you. Maybe they should use our premium dollars for health needs instead of greed and buying out politicians.

The health industry is doing the same thing with your premium dollars that wall street did with your 401k money. They use it as they please for their own self-interest and you're only worth to them is to keep donating your premium dollars to give CEOs 80 million dollar bonuses, but as soon as your sickness infringes on their luxury living, they drop you. They could care less about middle class except that you support their scams with your premium dollars just like we did with our 401k money on wall street.

If our taxes went up as fast as our insurance premiums we would be screaming bloody murder. Obama public option lowers premium costs and if you make under 250,000 a year, no tax increase. A deal you will never get from the greedy CEOs who run insurance companies. As long as you put your health care decisions in the hands of profit orientated greedy CEOs your life and financial well being is at risk. Government run VA health care for our military and medicare for our seniors has already proven that the government puts health care above profit. So who do you trust -- greedy health insurance CEOs or the government for your health needs?

Anonymous User
Posted by Brittanicus
Monday, August 17, 2009 2:50 PM EST

If there was ever a time for a national referendum--THEN THIS IS DEFINITELY IT? Of all the issues the ones that will influence the American peoples economy, culture, language and society for decades to come, is Health care and illegal immigration. Neither political party, special interest lobbyists nor anybody else should be able to use their influence the running of our country. The United States--VOTER--should have the last word, not corrupt members of the Democratic leadership, the Republican minority party and certainly not La Raza or ACLU, US Chamber of Commerce, Council of Foreign Relations, Cato Institute, billionaire George Soros, Ford Foundation and a multitude of self interest groups. In health care the insurance companies have used their political currency, to weaken any prospect of a Canadian or European style public health care option. 2/3 of America insist on the single payer system like Canada and the European developed nations.

The rest of these despicable organizations want the free flow of cheap labor that is already swarming across our nation, even though we are in a deep recession and millions of US citizens and legal residence are jobless. As I speak 1.5 million new immigrants entered America and that's not counting the illegal aliens who extract from taxpayers everyday. Our politicians can no longer demand of the people, to pay for foreign national health care, when they cannot afford it for their own families? How many more years are the people to be dictated to the power of profiteering insurance companies? How many decades must taxpayers is forced to pay for illegal immigrants and families, who have already broken our laws of sovereignty and expect to be rewarded with another blanket AMNESTY.

How can we assume our legislators to honor the “Rule of Law”, when they have already stone-walled us over the 1986 immigration enforcement law? Millions of loyal Americans who have already commanded E-Verify extraction tool in the workplace (section of the SAVE ACT) 287 G police enforcement, no match letter and the ICE raids of illegal immigrant. But we must maintain the bombardment if you want a health care public option choice? Whether you want to keep on supporting the impoverished, unschooled of foreign nations that skirt our laws? CALL YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES FOR WHAT YOU WANT AT 202-224-3121? NOT WHAT THE SPECIAL INTEREST LOBBY HAS PAID FOR? Read about the trillions to be spent on giving AMNESTY to illegal immigrants at the Heritage Foundation. GOOGLE more facts on the web, or search for the truth at NUMBERSUSA.

Observe this PETITION to STOP any health care to illegal immigrants at: LINK

Comments for this article are closed.

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