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  • Speaker Pelosi Is Right About the Trigger

    Hill Tube has a video up of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talking about the obunlic option “trigger” at yesterday’s news conference. The video does not appear to be embeddable, but here is a rough transcript:

    A trigger is an excuse for not doing anything. But everybody’s open to listening to what people have to say. The point is made over and over again that for one reason or another the trigger was not effective in Medicare Part D. … I believe that the bill is the trigger. If anybody wants to … I don’t even want to talk about a trigger. When we’re ready I’ll tell you where we’re going to be.

    First of all, Pelosi is correct when she says “for one reason or another the trigger was not effective in Medicare Part D.” Part D, the Medicare prescription drug program, was created under the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003. One reason that the proposed trigger for “a public drug option” failed to get pulled was the huge response of private sector plans entering the program and deliver drugs to seniors at competitive and affordable prices, resulting in a dramatic decrease in the assumed annual premiums for prescription drug coverage.

    Private competition, without a “public plan” works very well, thank you very much. But a more important reason that the proposed trigger for that version of the “public plan” was not “effective” was that the “fallback” was not really a “ public plan” for drugs in the first place.

    So, Speaker Pelosi is right and wrong at the same time on the same issue. She is right when she says that “trigger” for a “public plan” like that allegedly proposed for Medicare Part D was, in effect, meaningless, and thus she is right to oppose its inclusion in health care legislation. She is also right that the House bill itself is the trigger, and sets up the “public” option to compete against and erode private insurance on a tilted playing field. If she were to adopt a “trigger” mechanism to establish a public plan, sometime in the future, Americans would be dumped of their private coverage by employers and choice and competition would rapidly disappear. The only real purpose of the “trigger” would be to provide a technocratic mechanism for some in Congress to hide behind so that they can personally avoid responsibility for the unpleasant and unpopular consequences. Heritage’s Stuart Butler explains:

    What a trigger does is hold off the tough decision until future. The public option would essentially become law today, but not go into effect until an undetermined time when economic conditions could be even worse. It is a travesty of democracy because it allows legislators to vote for a plan now, but passes the blame for the catastrophic consequences onto their successors.

    Pelosi believes the public option is the greatest idea since sliced bread. We disagree. But at least we both admit that the trigger is absolutely terrible public policy that is only being floated so some members of Congress can avoid accountability for making the real decisions.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    2 Responses to Speaker Pelosi Is Right About the Trigger

    1. HSR0601 says:

      The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that having a "public option" would squeeze $100 billion in costs from the system over 10 years because of competition with private insurers, Pelosi said.

      Compromise doesn't mean compromising the essence of policy, all know it !!

      1. As regards a make-believe scheme, the source of funding coming from a middle class is utterly against the commitment of Democratic party.

      2. No cost-competitive advantage of the insurer-friendly scheme does not clear the grave concern about the unsustainable cost of overall health care program in the long run. Baucus scheme Doesn't Bend Cost Curve Enough, Experts Say.

      The scheme proposes a "fake" alternative, nonprofit insurance cooperatives — and it places so many "restrictions" on these cooperatives that, according to the Congressional Budget Office, they "seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country."

      3. Even with some benefit for primary practitioners, the baseless scheme does not come with fundamental payment reform, or a pay for value reimbursement formula. It means that the insurer-friendly scheme is not cleaning up the concerns over a quality issue and $9trillion of deficit over the next decade.

      ((Here is some of CBO analysis : While the costs of the financial bailouts and economic stimulus bills are staggering, they are only a fraction of the coming costs from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Over the next decade, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that each year Medicaid will expand by 7 percent, Medicare by 6 percent, and Social Security by 5 percent. These programs face a 75-year shortfall of $43 trillion–60 times greater than the gross cost of the $700 billion TARP financial bailout)).

      4. For Medicare & Medicaid system to survive from the most wasteful structure on earth, enough savings by way of fundamental changes need to be secured, in return, the savings thereof suffice to meet the goal of well-planned public option.

      ((Even with far less visits to docs, which average a half or a third of them in any other free states, Americans pay roughly twice as much per person right now)).

      5. For the record, prior to nation-wide deployment of reform, The State Of "Yes We Can", Minnesota influenced by Mayo clinic spends "20 percent" less per patient than the national average and 31 percent less than in the highest cost state. It highlights that no substantial tax raise is needed at least for sure.

      ((The $583 billion of revenue package, and the astronomical savings of public option aside, "20%" of $923.5bn (the combined Medicare and Medicaid cost per year, as of July) represents around $184.7bn per year and 1.847trillion over the next decade, and this patient-centered value alone could be sufficient to meet the goal of public option)).

      6. In brief, the long-awaited and most hopeful health care plan is to meet these criterias : Affordability, Quality, and A Check function against runaway premiums thereof.

      Clearly enough, due largely to its lower overhead cost, purchasing power and fundamental payment reform, the well-planned public option would be doing moore than the fabricated scheme by THE INDUSTRY in these aforementioned regards.

      Now is the moment to turn page to contemporary energy and financial upgrades glossed over in 8 years.

      Thank You !

    2. Nutmeg State Conserv says:

      Bottom line, whether the "public option" is included or not, the Dems will word the bills so that the bar is set to a point where the private industry cannot meet the regs, thus triggering the public ooptin, and an eventual takeover. This is te ultimate goal!

      -Nutmeg State Conservative


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