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  • Health Care Co-ops: What's Inside the Box?

    Last month, Senator Kent Conrad (D-ND) suggested that maybe some form of “consumer cooperative” might be a politically acceptable alternative to the “competing public plan” idea. Since then, growing opposition to the “public plan” has fueled growing interest among Sen. Conrad’s colleagues in his “co-op” idea.

    However, as with the various other “compromise” ideas now floating around Congress, what really matters is the contents of the package– not the words on the label.

    If by health care “co-op,” Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.

    However, simply slapping the word “cooperative” onto a new “insurer,” but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a “public plan.”

    The most positive outcome for the health insurance co-op idea would be if Congress amended the tax-code to allow member-owned health insurers to operate as non-profits, just as decades ago Congress authorized non-profit, member-owned credit unions. America has a long history of member-owned cooperative insurers — known as “mutual” insurers — offering life, auto and property insurance. Indeed, some of them are large and well known, such as Mutual of Omaha, or Northwestern Mutual Life. Offering the option of the same kind of direct consumer-ownership in health insurance not only makes sense, but might also prove to be quite popular.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    19 Responses to Health Care Co-ops: What's Inside the Box?

    1. jim sardis,ms says:

      this must be what AARP is spending millions to get a piece of.

    2. Ken, Western Massach says:

      Will coop insurers spend millions on advertising? Will they look to ways to prevent sick patients from receiving their benefits? Better would be to expand Medicare to everyone, perhaps over time, perhaps all at once.

    3. Linda Maddox, Carlsb says:

      I might be okay with a non-profit co-op

      if they did it right. I just don't trust them. The govt. already has the plan they want. The govt. to decide every detail of our health decisions by them. No elected officials, but by their czars overseeing us. This is not going to fly with the American people. Where is our FREEDOM of choice?I want to wait on the health reform until we can elect new people to run our country.

    4. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      What's in the Box? Dead and dying Americans, That is what is in Obama's Box!


    5. Tucker, Michigan says:

      I've been a nurse for over twenty years. Every employer I've worked for chews you up and spits you out. Hospitals use us, the workers, to make money, but do little to share the wealth. It will get worse if this thing passes. I've already decided to change careers if it does. You would not believe all the paperwork and regulation involved in Medicare/Medicaid. With a public plan, the already overwhelmed medical community will capsize. It is virtually impossible to get nurses to work in nursing homes for just that reason. Who's going to win in this game?

      Most who become physicians do so for the money and prestige. People expect magic cures and successful outcomes because that's what they see on TV. In reality, life just isn't that way. This causes frivolous lawsuits costing doctors and nurses millions in malpractice insurance. We won't need that anymore because this legislation will restrict lifesaving treatment and encourage euthanasia. (Dr. Kavorkian will be livid after being imprisoned for what the government will do legally!) I'll bet they will even make CPR illegal!!!

    6. Pingback: Michelle Malkin » White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag

    7. Pingback: White House Appears Open to Insurance Co-ops - Page 2 - Political Wrinkles

    8. Pingback: White House public option ploy: A trial balloon, not a white flag « Thoughts Of A Conservative Christian

    9. Pingback: Bent Notes » Blog Archive » Who would get to define “cooperative”?

    10. Pingback: OUT: Public Option IN: Health Care Co-ops (With Updates) « Nice Deb

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    12. Sherri Voebel says:

      Privatization hasn't worked for many families. The costs associated with healthcare and healthcare insurance continue to increase. Insurance benefits continue to decrease. Health insurance plans are increasingly taking a larger portion of family income and many families have inadequate coverage or no coverage at all. We need an alternative not for profit plan to augment private healthcare insurance.

    13. Pingback: Confused much?… « 1776 Minuteman

    14. WestWright, USA says:

      Heritage also supported Mitt Romney on Mass Universal Health Care, how did that work out for Mass? Don't let the Left off the hook with this Co-Op idea, read what RedState.com says about this misguided support by Heritage. I'm disappointed with Heritage's faulty thinking on this!

    15. Pingback: Morning Briefing for August 19, 2009 - Erick’s blog - RedState

    16. Pingback: Dear Senator Mike Enzi and Heritage Foundation: Shut Up. - Erick’s blog - RedState

    17. Pingback: BizzyBlog

    18. Pingback: Dear Senator Mike Enzi and Heritage Foundation: Shut Up : Confessions of a Political Junkie

    19. Pingback: RedState Is Wrong on Health Care Co-ops | Delmarva Dealings

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