My "Practical" Support For A Health Insurance Assistance Bill Without A Public Option

Matt Yglesias hands out a bouquet to Chris Bowers for his capitulation on the public option. Leaving aside the stupidity of a self styled activist deciding to capitulate on an issue he has been agitating about for the entire year (Who will believe Bowers about anything now? Why would you give him a dime? Does he plan to reimburse folks for money he raised on his staunch advocacy for the public option?), I want my bouquets too. I am ready to support a health insurance assistance bill that does not have a public option and provides insurance to 30 million uninsured Americans. I have a couple of suggestions though.

(1) Eliminate the individual mandate. (2) Eliminate the Exchange (we need this to take out the Stupak amendment problem.) (3) Finance the health insurance assistance through taxes on the well off, as provided for by the House bill and Senator Reid's increase of the Medicare tax on person earning more than $200,000/year. (4) Funnel all health insurance assistance funds through an increase in Medicaid eligibility.

The question is will the Village and the Obama Administration let their ideology stand in the way of providing 30 million Americans with health insurance? I sure hope they would be practical about this.

Speaking for me only

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    Well, (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 08:18:17 PM EST
    here's the problem and why the bill needs to die: those mandates are never going to be taken out. With all the changes they are the one thing that has stayed in. the bill only gets worse the more it's tinkered with so it's best for it to be voted down and start anew next year.

    And Bowers cites (none / 0) (#1)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 04:57:13 PM EST
    new hero Alan Grayson as part of his reason!  

    You are right, Bowers blows his cred on this.  However, it does make him that much more likely to get a job at the Post or whatever.

    I told you folks about Grayson (none / 0) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:00:26 PM EST
    A complete phony.

    Do not discount the money Bowers gets from Sestak either.


    Another shoe dropped last night (none / 0) (#4)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:11:02 PM EST
    on that account.

    I can't wait to hear what he thinks about Afghanistan now. But that's OT. . .


    Bowers? Or Sestak? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:12:58 PM EST
    Sestak supports escalation in Afghanistan (so do I.)

    Arlen Specter opposes it.

    Bowers opposes.

    Hard to square his support for Sestak now EXCEPT because of the money he is being paid.

    The pitfalls of getting paid by pols.


    That's exactly what I mean (none / 0) (#11)
    by andgarden on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 06:45:59 PM EST
    Between (none / 0) (#7)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:19:05 PM EST
    the 11th dimensional chess people and the "pragmatists" it's been a pretty pathetic showing around the blogosphere on this issue.  Thank god for FDL, TL, mcjoan, etc.

    A lot of true colors (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:30:00 PM EST
    have been shown in this episode.

    I would only support (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:05:18 PM EST
    getting rid of the public option if we went to a Swiss model- they have private health insurance (which all are required to buy), but it is very, very highly regulated, and the insurance companies are not allowed to make a profit on basic care provisions.  I would add your increased taxes on the well off, and I would subsidize each person's payments on a sliding scale.

    Not a bad idea.... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Fabian on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:17:08 PM EST
    but if the insurance companies and their stooges won't accept a public option, even a nominal one, then what reason do we have to think they will accept heavy regulation?

    I like the 1,2,3... (none / 0) (#8)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:22:41 PM EST
    raise the income thresholds for Medicaid to realistic levels, add that sliding scale with a premium to buy into Medicaid, and you have a less demonizable public option. Switch the 50/50 funding to 75/25 or something...and if the wealthy b*tch too much even do a little increase across the board...or better yet cut some harmful spending and wham-o...I think we made a big improvement that everybody can live with.

    The private ins. co's can do their thing and the people who don't have easy access/affordability through employment or whatever have Medicaid...just gotta make sure Medicaid pays the providers of care competetively.  


    Bower will never win ... (none / 0) (#10)
    by Robot Porter on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 05:43:55 PM EST
    a math bee.

    Granted, it is not entirely clear how many people die each year because they lack health insurance.  Different studies have suggested 18,000, 45,000), or an unknownable number anywhere from zero to 36,000.  Still, the varying studies make it highly likely that at least several thousand people die each year from a lack of health insurance.  With that in mind, the Senate bill reduces the number of people uninsured in this country by roughly two-thirds, which will save two-thirds of those at least several thousand lives.  The House bill will reduce the number of uninsured by roughly 75%, thus saving three-fourths of those at least several thousand lives.

    There is no indication that those who die have equal distribution. In fact, it's likely they don't. So Bowers cannot say it would save a straight percentage of those lives.

    It could save more, less ... even none.  

    But you'd need much more sophisticated number crunching than Bowers has done to determine it.

    I wish people who clearly no nothing about arithmetic wouldn't make arguments based on arithmetic.

    What're the odds? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Lora on Wed Dec 02, 2009 at 09:23:29 PM EST
    I sure hope they would be practical about this.

    Good luck with that.