They Are Called “Nationwide Plans,” And They Do Gut State Regulations

By: Friday December 18, 2009 11:51 am

Ezra Klein has done the discussion on health reform a big disservice by making false claims about what could, in fact, start a race to the bottom in the insurance market. He writes: What it doesn’t allow is for insurers to simply sell their wares in any state. Aetna could not, for instance, decide that [...]

CBO: Opt-Out Will Deny The Public Option To A Third Of The Country

By: Thursday November 19, 2009 7:59 am

The CBO has concluded that the design of the opt-out provision will end up denying the public option to roughly a third of the population in this country. CBO’s analysis took into account the probability that some states would opt not to allow the public plan to be offered to their residents. Rather than trying [...]

FDL Statement on Senate Combined Health Care Bill

By: Thursday November 19, 2009 7:03 am

It is time to acknowledge that the Senate process is broken and undemocratic, and is working against the interests of the American people. It is too easily gamed by lobbyist money and has become unresponsive to the needs of small businesses struggling to pay for the health care costs of their employees at a time when unemployment is skyrocketing. The Senate filibuster — and the ability of any one Senator to hold the entire body hostage on behalf of lobbying interests — must come to an end.

If Harry Reid truly cares about fighting for the good of the country over the good of Wellpoint, he will immediately dispense with the opt-out and move to reconciliation and allow a majority in the Senate to deliver to Americans what they want and desperately need.

Pretty Bad So Far: Eight Things Wrong With The Senate Health Bill

By: Thursday November 19, 2009 6:59 am

I’ve begun my preliminary examination of the new, merged Senate health care reform bill. So far, my first impression is pretty negative. There are many bad provisions that I think need to be changed or removed. Here are eight I noticed last night: 1) Delays Start Until 2014 – One of my biggest criticisms is [...]

Senate Public Option Opt-Out Is Bad, Unlimited, Pre-Reform Opt-Out

By: Wednesday November 18, 2009 5:44 pm

The public option in the merged Senate bill is called the “Community Health Insurance Option.” Harry Reid attached an opt-out provision to the public option. Any state can choose to not allow the public option to be offered their state. To opt-out, a state must pass a law to stop the public option from being [...]

Monday Health Care Highlights

By: Monday November 16, 2009 4:04 pm

Reid is meeting with Senate progressives tonight to talk health care. Harkin thinks the Senate will start debate in earnest on November 30th. And, he is willing to make the Republicans work if they try to filibuster reform.   Mike Castle’s poll numbers take a huge hit, possibly because of his opposition to health care. Carper, [...]

A Public Option Opt-In Is Not The Same As State-Based Public Plans

By: Tuesday October 27, 2009 6:36 am

The news yesterday was the Harry Reid would include a public option with an opt-out provision in the Senate bill. There has been some reporting Reid might not have the votes for the opt-out and might need to water it down to a public option “opt-in,” state-based public plans, or trigger. A public option opt-in [...]

Reid’s Opt-Out: The Devil is In the Details

By: Monday October 26, 2009 2:54 pm

The good news: Pressure on Reid from progressives when his poll numbers are flagging made him defy the White House. More importantly, he ratted them out to the press. Rahm thought he could continue to push for triggers in the background and satisfy the base by mouthing gibberish about “the President supports a public option” until it was too late. It didn’t work out so well.

The bad news: Having a state opt-out that will make corporatist Democrats happy is quite likely not to be “available nationwide from day one,” and thus does not meet the the definition of a “robust public option” by anyone’s terms.

The When, How, Who, and What of the Public Option Opt-Out

By: Monday October 26, 2009 10:35 am

Several news sources are reporting that Harry Reid plans to put a national public option with an opt-out provision in the merged Senate bill. So far, there have been almost zero details on how this national public option with an opt-out provision would be structured. I’m going to explain four important variables and how they [...]

President Obama Fighting To Kill Public Option On Behalf Of Empress Snowe

By: Friday October 23, 2009 2:15 pm

Talking Points Memo is reporting that Obama is now actively working to kill the public option. Multiple sources tell TPMDC that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is very close to rounding up 60 members in support of a public option with an opt out clause, and are continuing to push skeptical members. But they also [...]