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  • The Senate’s Public Plan “Opt Out” – More Optics than Option for the States

    In the Senate, there is growing interest in the idea of a state “opt-out” of the federal public plan, a government –run health plan that would “compete” against private health plans. This latest Senate ploy creates the illusion of an “option” rather than making any fundamental changes to the controversial proposal. While it is difficult to understand its true impact until legislative language is available, taxpayers who will bear the cost burdens of a new government health care entitlement should keep a few points in mind:

    1. States could only op-out of the public plan, not of the entire bill.
    This is only an “opt-out” of one section of the massive health care proposal. There are literally hundreds of provisions that the states may find unacceptable, like the costly Medicaid expansion. That, for example, would add millions of new people onto the Medicaid rolls, and aggravate the “crowd out” of private health coverage and guarantee higher taxpayer burdens for one of the nation’s most poorly performing welfare programs.

    2. A state opt-out does not eliminate the public plan.
    The federal government would likely require any state wishing to opt-out to still meet federal conditions. It could come, for example, as an explicit requirement that a state set up a public plan “option” that mirrors the federal public plan or as a public plan masquerading as a “co-op” that is in effect controlled, funded and accountable to the government. For those who wish to see a genuinely competitive insurance market, with all plans competing on a truly level playing field, a public plan requirement is a dangerous proposition whether administered at the federal level or the state level.

    3. Experience shows that a federal public plan would likely be the easiest option for state officials.
    With the typical bureaucratic red tape and administrative complexity accompanying a state opt-out, states would likely discourage states from opting-out. Moreover, the federal strings that follow would likely strangle states ability to administer an option that does not closely follow the federal public plan model.

    Crushing State Innovation.
    The massive bills in the House and Senate- with individual and employer mandates, federal control over health insurance benefits, new boards and commissions micromanaging what taxpayers get or don’t get, new fees, taxes and insurance costs- is a challenge to the citizens of the states. Bright and innovative state officials would prefer to embark on their own reforms, but these bills would crush creativity, innovation and experimentation under the weight of federal control and conformity.

    A true state “opt out” would allow states to opt-out of the entire health care proposal in exchange for making measurable progress in improving cost, quality and access to care for its citizens. Any other opt-out is just another shell game that is intended to appear as a concession but in reality provides a pretext for greater federal control and blocks much needed structural changes.

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    10 Responses to The Senate’s Public Plan “Opt Out” – More Optics than Option for the States

    1. Leon, Durango, CO says:

      We have a public 'plan' and it is Joe Stalin's plan to wreck the private medical system so as to put in a government run medical system. Then the government can do anything they want to you and call it "medicine". We have the 'plan' were hospitals subsidize Emergency Rooms where costs are spread to those who pay for service. The 'plan' causes hospitals to fail, doctors to give up in disgust, and patients to lose service.

      It wouldn't take much to put Health Care back on a healthy path. Let's say if you want to be a government monkey, then buy Government Health Insurance. But anybody dealing with the government knows they take forever to pay their bills. With the GEMA's (government employee mutuals), the VETERANS, AIG, GM, the actual government Health Insurance option is already there. Medicare, Medicaid, throw in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there is plenty of government option.

      Give us a citizen OPT OUT.

    2. Brandon, AR says:

      "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

    3. Jeff, Grand Rapids says:

      ditto to Brandon, AR. I do not believe health care or insurance are in the bill of rights. The Constitution does limit the rights of the federal government.

    4. Pingback: Morning Bell: No Matter What You Call It, It’s Still Just Government-Run Health Care | Fix Health Care Policy

    5. vero ricci, browns m says:

      Please, please plan on removing democratic idiots from all our governing bodies. Especially the leader, Obama

    6. Esther Martinez, NJ says:

      This plan is consistent with standard government's solutions. The banks that caused the recent economic recession were "too big to fail", government's fix, make them bigger. We had too much debt, government's fix, more debt. On enforcement of rules, lets control salaries of certain banks, but not Goldman Sachs, who would donate to the party.

      Now with medical care, the problem is cost. Driving the costs are: overbilling of the self paying patient required by medicaid insurance, liability risks and separation between consumer and payor. The government's solutions are: 1. More medicaid insurance, more overbilling of the self paying patient.

      2. No liability reform, government needs the trial lawyers contributions.

      3. More insurance, that is more separation between those who use health care and those who pay for it.

      It appears to me that the solution to the problem is always to increase the problem while protecting the untouchables such as Goldman Sachs and the trial lawyers.

    7. napoleon says:

      Stop "KILLING" your children,this is about family health,and lower cost,"DUMMY".

    8. Paul Terry Stone says:

      If we've still got to pay the increased taxes for nothing if the state opts out, that"s not much choice.

    9. Pingback: Morning Bell: No Matter What You Call It, It’s Still Just Government-Run Health Care | Conservative Principles Now

    10. Hiram, AR says:

      The Democratic Party believes they were put in office not to represent us but to lord over us.

      The healthcare proposals Democrats are working on are going to cost Americans dearly. The current proposals require taxation and fees for several years before it takes affect. The government has shown it cannot be trusted to place these fees into a healthcare savings account and keep their hands out of it. Look at what they have done to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The unfunded liability placed on the American taxpayer is unconstrained thoughtlessness and unbelievable. Congress’ fiduciary responsibilities are beyond terrible, their criminal.

      Why are the healthcare-bills being written in secrecy and rammed down our throats? We would expect this of dictatorial style governments, not in a Democracy.

      I am surprised at the lock-step vote on healthcare legislation being considered in both Chambers of Congress. I cannot envision the Democrat Party disregarding the opinions of the majority of the American public and deliberately interfering with and devastating the healthcare for 80-85 percent of Americans.

      Over 20-million will not be covered with the new health care legislation. Are American citizens disqualified and illegal immigrants qualified? Will the debts in union’s health care programs be paid-in full?

      Does the fear/intimidation of President Obama outweigh the integrity of the Democrat Party? Is your constituency irrelevant? Have you considered the impact on your own family members, now and in the future? This is disgraceful.

      The sinister partisan secrecy writing of this bill strikes me as Marxism. Democrats choose to blind themselves to this and the needs of their constituents. Open your eyes, your Christian hearts, listen to the people, not the President.

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