Friday, July 17, 2009

Republicans who are Against the Public Option...

...should immediately relinquish their federal health insurance.

What a novel idea!

Jonathan Oberlander's article,
If Republicans Think Being Uninsured Is No Big Deal..., really hits the nail on the head regarding the current dilemma over the public insurance option for health care reform.

Politico's Carrie Budoff Brown reports that Congressional Republicans opposed to creating a new public insurance option have a novel idea. Republican John Fleming of Louisiana is sponsoring a House resolution urging Democrats who vote for the public plan to give up their current insurance coverage--through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)--and join the new public program. According to Politico, John McCain and Tom Coburn are preparing similar amendments in the Senate "that would require members--and maybe even their staffs--to sign up for the public option."

This is, of course, a rather lame idea: the point of creating a public plan is to make it an option that exists alongside private insurance. This is about expanding choice in health insurance coverage. Nobody would be forced to join the public option.

Still if we want members of Congress to put their money--and health insurance choices--where their mouths are, I have a better (if not 100 percent original) idea.

Republicans who oppose universal health insurance should immediately relinquish their federal health insurance. After all, these members of Congress have long enjoyed taxpayer-subsidized health insurance, a privilege that they apparently believe tens of millions of working, uninsured Americans and their families don't deserve.

Congressman Fleming of Louisiana says that "Congress should lead by example."

I agree.

If Republicans don't think being uninsured is a big deal, then they should go right ahead and try it out.

And if they really believe a public plan is such a bad option, maybe they can persuade their parents to give up Medicare too.

Jonathan Oberlander, one of the nation's leading experts on health care policy, is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and author of The Political Life of Medicare. He is an occasional contributor to The Treatment.

1 comment:

jacksmith said...


It’s official. America and the World are now in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. A World EPIDEMIC with potential catastrophic consequences for ALL of the American people. The first PANDEMIC in 41 years. And WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES will have to face this PANDEMIC with the 37th worst quality of healthcare in the developed World.


We spend over twice as much of our GDP on healthcare as any other country in the World. And Individual American spend about ten times as much out of pocket on healthcare as any other people in the World. All because of GREED! And the PRIVATE FOR PROFIT healthcare system in America.

And while all this is going on, some members of congress seem mostly concern about how to protect the corporate PROFITS! of our GREED DRIVEN, PRIVATE FOR PROFIT NATIONAL DISGRACE. A PRIVATE FOR PROFIT DISGRACE that is in fact, totally valueless to the public health. And a detriment to national security, public safety, and the public health.

Progressive democrats the Tri-Caucus and others should stand firm in their demand for a robust government-run public option for all Americans, with all of the minimum requirements progressive democrats demanded. If congress can not pass a robust public option with at least 51 votes and all robust minimum requirements, congress should immediately move to scrap healthcare reform and request that President Obama declare a state of NATIONAL HEALTHCARE EMERGENCY! Seizing and replacing all PRIVATE FOR PROFIT health insurance plans with the immediate implementation of National Healthcare for all Americans under the provisions of HR676 (A Single-payer National Healthcare Plan For All).

Coverage can begin immediately through our current medicare system. With immediate expansion through recruitment of displaced workers from the canceled private sector insurance industry. Funding can also begin immediately by substitution of payroll deductions for private insurance plans with payroll deductions for the national healthcare plan. This is what the vast majority of the American people want. And this is what all objective experts unanimously agree would be the best, and most cost effective for the American people and our economy.

In Mexico on average people who received medical care for A-H1N1 (Swine Flu) with in 3 days survived. People who did not receive medical care until 7 days or more died. This has been the same results in the US. But 50 million Americans don’t even have any healthcare coverage. And at least 200 million of you with insurance could not get in to see your private insurance plans doctors in 2 or 3 days, even if your life depended on it. WHICH IT DOES!

If President Obama has to declare a NATIONAL STATE OF EMERGENCY to rescue the American people from our healthcare crisis, he will need all the sustained support you can give him. STICK WITH HIM! He’s doing a brilliant job.



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