Public option Obama style

Although this is a question that in-and-of itself doesn’t belong in GD, I have a feeling this thread would get moved here eventually.

Obama says he’s for a public option that isn’t tax funded and must rely on the money it gets from people who choose to pay into it.

Let’s say that it comes into creation and not enough people choose to go with the public option and so it doesn’t have enough money to operate. At that point does it go out of business or does the federal government step in to prop it up with tax dollars?

I’m guessing despite the talk about how a public option can only compete fairly if it operates like a private insurance company, if push comes to shove it would receive federal funding if it had to in order to stay in business.

Financially speaking, I fail to see how a group basically established for those with pre-existing conditions would be able to survive without a large group of low risk members to support them (unless there’s extra funds being pumped in from somewhere).

Some states already have allocated pools for high-risk car insurance. Companies wishing to operate in that state have to take their share of those customers. The same could work for health insurance, or else they could pool to form a reinsurance operation, perhaps even with government subsidies.

It’s unfair (and ridiculous) to expect a program that cannot reject people or claims based on the goal of avoiding or dodging expenses to operate with the same funding structure as a private company that is able to reject expensive people and problems.

Based on an employer group plan, they can’t (if transferring from an existing group plan without a lapse in coverage)

I was also talking about rejecting claims, not just rejecting applicants.

Claims can initially be rejected for a wide variety of reasons including, clerical, lacking documentation, bad information provided by the medical treatment provider, etc. However, I can’t think of any claim I’ve had over the years (and I’m 57) that I wasn’t able to get whatever the issue was resolved so that it was paid accordingly. Pain in the buttocks, but I can’t blame the insurance company or demanding proper documentation.

You could charge them a rate that reflects the cost of providing the service. But that might just be me making crazy talk.

It might seem like snark, but after the last year, I have to ask in all seriousness… how exactly does that differ from the big private companies? We have established that once a corporation reaches a certain size (which all of the major players have reached) our govt will bail them out when they fuck the dog. Then they’ll forget to count the money they bailed them out with! I think that is actually more likely than a public option passing. They’re going to compromise down to exchanges and co-ops and such … kick it a few more years down the road, then the health insurance industry will have some giant meltdown and we will end up paying them hand over fist to continue raping us. But at least it’ll be a bipartisan (socialist) solution then! Government by knee-jerk reaction to crises.

I’m not talking about a bail-out, I’m talking about changing the way it’s funded.

OK, since this is GD, I’ll ask some debatable questions.

  1. If we had a public option would the only fair way for it to compete be by having it operate like a private insurance company?

  2. Do you (you = whoever is reading this question) care if it operates fairly or not?

  3. If you care about fairness and it failed, would you feel the need for a public option outweighs the need for fairness? Or, in other words, if a public option needed tax dollars to operate would you be in favor of using tax dollars?

How would it fail? It would have to price things like every other company it just doesn’t have the shareholders and executive to pay for. It would be subject to the same rules and subsidies as the private insurance companies in the insurance exchange.

Depends on how you define “compete.” In a “marketplace of ideas”/“laboratory of democracy” sense, if it works better & drives the rest out of business, it fairly out-competes them. If you want it to co-exist without changing the game for the private insurers, then you’re missing an opportunity to change their behavior, & such a plan leans toward making the public option non-competitive. If we’re somewhere in between, the question is how much we handicap the public option to make it “fair.”

Well, it shouldn’t cheat, but it should be able to use natural advantages. We shouldn’t cheat private insurers to force citizens onto a public plan. We should just let the public plan be a public plan. Maybe make it tax-funded & then give a deduction for monies spent on private insurance.

I think an plan that doesn’t use tax dollars is probably really either a co-op, or a GSE.

I’d like an actual single-payer system, with tax deductions for those who choose to be [del]swindled[/del] served by private plans. That’s a real public plan. Sounds like the “public option” will be more a Government-Sponsored Entity, & meh.

Sorry, but I don’t know what GSE stands for.

And somehow I doubt there will be tax breaks for any plan but a public one. I’m not sure why the government would want to subsidize people going with private companies when the whole point of a public option is for people to sign up for that.

Well, it’s supposed to refer to a group of Government-Sponsored Enterprises. (list here: Government-sponsored enterprise - Wikipedia ) I was using it more loosely for any “private” company that’s given a monopoly by the government to do something or other, like the Federal Reserve Bank or the US Postal Service. Of course, the public option wouldn’t be a monopoly either.

Since insurance companies gobble up 30 % of the insurance money for administration, I do think they would have trouble competing with a government plan. Government plans are far more efficient . A government plan would not be adversarial. They would not have an incentive to deny coverage to increase profits. They would just continually work to streamline coverage and care.
I am on Medicare . You do not realize what a soul sucking private insurance system we have until you escape it. Waiting for ever increasing premiums and decreasing coverage is not fun. Knowing full well ,when you go to a doctor you might wind up in a battle with an insurance company is disheartening. That sinking feeling you get when they send you a letter ,is something I will not miss.

That kind of comment makes the baby Ronald Reagan cry.

What would an icon of baby Ronnie Reagan look like?

I’d say you’ve been fortunate, then. Among those requiring serious or chronic medical care, it turns out that insurance rescission is actually a big deal.