The White House appears to be backing away from the formerly ‘must-have’ provision of a pubic option health care plan.
Since the introduction of HR3200, the politicians have been chopping away at health care reform mandates, upping the exclusions to the majority of small businesses, reducing the amount that an employer must pay for employees, cutting subsidy levels to the poor, balking at other provisions to help those with real issues, get a mandated correction. Even AARP has publicly turned their back on HR3200 saying that they do not support HR3200.
The Public Option has been a lightning rod of controversy, and in our opinion, deservedly so. We saw it as the half-truth that was going to create savings to finance other, fundamentally flawed, ideals. Without it, no front-loaded savings exist to pay for the costly parts of reform.
The likelihood now appears that the bill that will hit the Senate may be nothing more than a tax increase for all to finance the permanent removal of Medicare reductions to providers that are scheduled to kick in January 1, 2010. A promise to create a co-op for individuals to purchase individual health insurance will probably be years away and could be revised, delayed, or killed by either of the next two Congresses or whoever is in the white house in 2013. Major Medicare Reform passed over the past 8 years will be revised, rescinded and rolled back. We expect both the Republicans and Democrats to claim victory, while in reality, both have lost.
The best bill may be no bill at all.