Monday, November 9, 2009

A Public Option NO/Nothings and even Lieberman should love

Is it possible to design a public option that would guarantee state-subsidized insurance to everyone in the country between the ages of 19 and 64 that would be acceptable to NO/Nothings, Joe Lieberman, Blue Dog Democrats and progressives including the Attack Democrat? Maybe.

How about a plan that offers a health insurance benefits package to uninsured adults of all incomes -- from young people just out of school to early retirees; has affordable monthly premiums, based on income, and a full range of coverage, including preventive care, emergency room and hospital visits, primary care and specialist physicians, pharmacy, behavioral health services and prescription medications; and is a government-sponsored, government-subsidized and government-administered health coverage program but one that contracts with private insurers as managed care organizations to coordinate the benefits, enroll and set rates with providers, and pay for the services?

Such a plan exists in Joe Lieberman’s home state of CT and was signed into law by a Republican governor. Under the plan a family of four with annual income under $33,075 gets coverage for $75 per month per person with a $150 individual and $300 family deductible. A family of four with annual income over $66,150 gets coverage for $259 per month per person with a $900 individual and $1,750 family deductible.

Read more about the plan at:

Of course this type of plan would need some tweaking. Under the CT plan, you have to be without health insurance for six months. We would need to eliminate the wait and let anyone who was uninsured or who couldn’t get affordable coverage apply right away. And, we would want to lift the lifetime maximum that is just $1 million in the CT plan. Still, it would be a starting point and would be something Lieberman and the NO/Nothings couldn’t oppose…..well, let’s say “shouldn’t oppose” because as we know they find a way to oppose everything. How could the keep the name “NO/Nothing,” if they ever even said “Maybe/Something?”

So, forget this post. Sorry I brought it up. Let’s scrap everything and just enroll everyone in Medicare.

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