What an actor! Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid presented his idea (we still haven't seen the bill which he wrote in secret) for a government run health plan that had an "opt out" provision with a straight face. But the idea is such a joke, it's difficult to see how anyone took the idea seriously. What state would consent to see their citizens taxed to pay for the health benefits in another state?
Reid knows that there are not 60 votes in the Senate for a government run health plan. It's also unlikely that he'll upset the wishes of his own members and force the bill through to the floor with the legislative move known as reconciliation.
So what is really going on?
I've warned throughout this farce that the Dems will push the more extreme version of health care "reform" knowing full well it cannot pass. To do otherwise would upset their fringe left wing supporters who demand an immediate government takeover of America's health care so they can start telling the rest of us how to live. The Dem's real goal is to stake out territory on the extreme left then be shown to "compromise" by backing the less radical plan closer to that put forward by the Senate Finance Committee. When that happens expect the trumpets to sound, the clouds to part and the Dem's allies in the "news" media to announce how wonderful it is that Dems have shown such incredible flexibility. Heck, they might even persuade Maine's Sen. Olympia Snowe (R) to get back on board and declare the entire undertaking a bipartisan triumph!
Everyone would be so relieved that the full out government option had been defeated that they would sign off on Obama Care. By the time reality sets in it would be too late.
Reality of the Dem's "Moderate" Plan: Higher Taxes, Higher Insurance Costs!
A new study by the Insurance company Wellpoint, which operates Blue Cross plans in several states shows that rates will rise much faster under Obama Care than they would if no new legislation were passed:
The WellPoint RevelationIf you would like to read a detailed analysis of the rising costs in the 14 states Wellpoint studied, you may read more here.
Private insurance premiums could triple under ObamaCare.
Wall Street Journal
OCTOBER 28, 2009
Washington is captivated by the Senate melodrama over the so-called public option, salivating at the ring of Harry Reid's political bell (see below). But the most important health-care questions continue to be about the policy substance—particularly those that Democrats don't want asked.
Foremost among them is: How will ObamaCare affect insurance premiums in the private health-care markets? Despite indignant Democratic denials, the near-certainty is that their plan will cause costs to rise across the board. The latest data on this score come from a series of state-level studies from the insurance company WellPoint Inc.
At the request of Congressional delegations worried about their constituents—call it a public service—WellPoint mined its own actuarial data to model ObamaCare in the 14 states where it runs Blue Cross plans. The study therefore takes into account market and demographic differences that other industry studies have not, such as the one from the trade group America's Health Insurance Plans, which looked at aggregate national trends.
In all of the 14 states WellPoint scrutinized, ObamaCare would drive up premiums for the small businesses and individuals who are most of WellPoint's customers.
the Wellpoint study is its detailed rigor. Take Ohio, where a young, healthy 25-year-old living in Columbus can purchase insurance from WellPoint today for about $52 per month in the individual market. WellPoint's actuaries calculate the bill will rise to $79 because Democrats are going to require it to issue policies to anyone who applies, even if they've waited until they're sick to buy insurance. Then they'll also require the company to charge everyone nearly the same rate, bringing the premium to $134. Add in an extra $17, since Democrats will require higher benefit levels, and a share of the new health industry taxes ($6), and monthly premiums have risen to $157, a 199% boost.
Meanwhile, a 40-year-old husband and wife with two kids would see their premiums jump by 122%—to $737 from $332—while a small business with eight employees in Franklin County would see premiums climb by 86%. It's true that the family or the individual might qualify for subsidies if their incomes are low enough, but the business wouldn't qualify under the Senate Finance bill WellPoint examined. And even if there are subsidies, the new costs the bill creates don't vaporize. They're merely transferred to taxpayers nationwide—or financed with deficits, which will be financed eventually with higher taxes.
The story is largely the same from state to state, though the increases are smaller in the few states that have already adopted the same mandates and regulations that Democrats want to impose on all states. For the average small employer in high-cost New York, for instance, premiums would only rise by 6%. But they'd shoot up by 94% for the same employer in Indianapolis, 91% in St. Louis and 53% in Milwaukee.
A family of four with average health in those same cities would all face cost increases of 122% buying insurance on the individual market. And it's important to understand that these are merely the new costs created by ObamaCare—not including the natural increases in medical costs over time from new therapies and the like.
Democrats didn't even bother to read Wellpoint's report before they attacked with many of the same talking points they have used to demonize any and all critics throughout this debate. They have yet to call them racists, but I'm sure that was just an oversight.
Meanwhile, we are all talking about Reid's big gamble and his joke of the opt-out provision of a government run option that he and his fellow Dems know will never become law. Will we be so relieved when Reid relents that we swallow the massive premium increases and taxes in the more "moderate" bill?
And what happens when insurance costs do skyrocket? Won't there be another huge push for a government run plan? Oh happy day!