Healthcare Professionals for Healthcare Reform

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Daschle Pledges a Bipartisan Reform of Health Care System

The New York Times has a very long and interesting discussion of Daschle’s initial confirmation hearings and then a discussion about the likely proposals that may be coming from the Obama administration.
Of particular interest to this group was the following:

Notwithstanding the friendly atmosphere on Thursday, and assuming that Mr. Daschle is confirmed, heated debates are certain about one of the most contentious aspects of President-elect Obama’s domestic agenda: his call for a new public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers.No other proposal so clearly defines the political and philosophical differences between Mr. Obama and Republicans, or provokes such deep disagreements.Mr. Daschle, the point man for Mr. Obama’s campaign to revamp the health care system, supports the concept of “a government-run insurance program modeled after Medicare.” It would, he says, give consumers, especially the uninsured, an alternative to commercial insurance offered by companies like Aetna, Humana and WellPoint.But the proposal is anathema to many insurers, employers and Republicans. They say the government plan would have unfair advantages, like the ability to impose lower fees, and could eventually attract so many customers that private insurers would be driven from the market.“The public plan option is a terrible idea — one of our top concerns in the health reform debate,” said James P. Gelfand, senior manager of health policy at the United States Chamber of Commerce.

This, I think may be one area where EMBRACE, may be of benefit. As we have noted previously, private and public insurance plans do not do well when they are allowed to compete against each other. If left to the “free market”, private insurance usually has an advantage. If there is too many “price controls” it may have the opposite effect (as pointed out by Mr. Gelfand above). EMBRACE establishes publicly funded coverage as the Daschle plan proposes, but it keeps it separate from competition with privately insurance.


January 9, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Good article..

    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Insurance Related | February 6, 2009 | Reply

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