Without A Public Option, The "Reform" Part Of the Health Insurance Assistance Bill Is Worthless
Ezra Klein, Village Blogger Extraordinaire, continues his disingenuous assault on the public option:
Dylan Matthews beats me to the punch with some well-deserved shots at Howard Dean's contention that absent the public option, "this bill is worthless and should be defeated." No, it isn't, and it shouldn't.
Ezra's willful misreading of Howard Dean is simply another example of his utter dishonesty in this debate. He is not to believed on this issue. What Dean is saying is not that expansion of health assistance to the less well off to allow them to get health insurance coverage is worthless. What Dean is saying that the "reforms" in the bill are worthless and that the individual mandate is too high a price to pay for Ezra's precious (and worthless) Exchange. More . . .
Ezra describes the limitations on the public option AS IT EXISTS in the present bill. Obviously, the idea is to GROW the number of persons eligible for the public option.
To buttress his false attacks on Dean, Ezra hold the public option to a standard he refuses to apply to his precious Exchange. He states the the public option is "limited to 2million people." Of course that is not true. The CBO PROJECTS that only 2 million people will use the public option. But the public option will be available to everyone eligible for Ezra's precious exchange. And BECAUSE of that, the private insurance options on the exchange will be subject to competition from a public option.
But let's go further. Ezra misleadingly asserts that:
This is a bill that cuts premiums costs. That extends insurance coverage to more than 30 million Americans. That cuts the deficit. That establishes an expectation for near-universal health-care coverage. [. . .] That makes better insurance cheaper for the poorest Americans. If passed, it will be, without doubt or competition, the largest piece of progressive social policy since Lyndon Johnson established Medicare and Medicaid. If this isn't worthwhile, then progressives should pack up and go home, because nothing Congress passes in the foreseeable future will even come close.
Nothing in the "reform" portions of the bill cause any of this. This is all caused by the "assistance" part of the bill. The reason insurance would be cheaper for the poorest Americans is because the government will either pay for it (through Medicaid expansion) or will subsidize the purchase of insurance for the less well off. The "reform" in the bill has nothing to do with it.
Ezra makes outlandish claims that the "reforms" will "really dig into delivery-system reforms. That take the first, halting steps away from the fee-for-service system." Nonsense. This is all wishful nonsense from Ezra. And it all is based on the regressive and punishing excise tax.
We all know now the Exchange has little reach and no positive effect on the premium prices of participants. The Village Bloggers have flat out misled about the effect of the Exchange on insurance premiums. The CBO reported that premiums will increase by 10-12% in the Exchanges.
I do not begrudge the Village Bloggers their opposition to the public option and their support for the "reforms" in the health assistance bill.
I strongly resent their deep dishonesty in arguing against the public option and for their beloved reforms.
Speaking for me only
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