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Senator Schumer’s Magical Plan for Health Care Compromise
Posted By Bob Moffit On May 5, 2009 @ 1:41 pm In Health Care | 13 Comments
According to the May 5th New York Times , Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) has proposed a health care reform “compromise” on the creation of a new public plan  to compete with private health insurance. No doubt Schumer is trying to convince moderates that they should ignore Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) frank admissions  that a public plan is just the first step of an unprincipled strategy to achieve government run health care. 
Schumer’s compromise would require that the public plan and private plans would abide by the same rules and regulations. But even the NYT identifies  some huge holes in his claim. Would the public plan be subject to state premium taxes, like private health plans, or state insurance laws, or solvency requirements with the private plans in states with which it is competing? Could the public plan be allowed to become insolvent? Or will it become another candidate for an eternal Congressional bail out? We have even more questions than the NYT does:
Of course, Senator Schumer and his colleagues invite us to ponder a problem in elemental logic. If the public plan and the private plans are really going to abide by the exact same rules, what is the point of a public plan in the first place?
Of course, the public health plan would be a wholly owned subsidiary of Congress Inc. That means that it would be a political institution, just like every other government sponsored enterprise, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It will be ground zero for special interest lobbying – by doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and insurers, as well as every special interest to the left of Pearl Jam, on a scale unprecedented in health care history.
If Fannie and Freddie, and AIG and the Automakers, and the Big Banks and whatever else is in line for a big bailout at taxpayer expense is “too big to fail”, guess what would be the congressional response to a shortfall in the income of a newly minted, congressionally created public health plan with millions of enrollees? There’s no guess work here. Unless you believe in Unicorns.
Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News Blog from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org
URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/05/05/senator-schumers-magical-plan-for-health-care-compromise/
URLs in this post:
 New York Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/05/health/policy/05health.html?ref=todayspaper
 new public plan: http://www.heritage.org/Research/HealthCare/bg2224.cfm
 frank admissions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJkXl4wG2eU
 an unprincipled strategy to achieve government run health care.: http://www.foundry.org/2009/05/01/morning-bell-the-unprincipled-fight-for-government-run-health-care/
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