Friday, September 04, 2009

The public option is the compromise

As Lawrence O'Donnell reminds us, progressives have already met Obama, the GOP, and the insurance industry more than half way on health reform.

That's where this is coming from:

Public opinion polls continue to show that a majority of Americans want the choice of a robust public plan and we stand in solidarity with them. We continue to support the robust public option that was reported out of the Committees on Ways and Means and Education and Labor and will not vote for a weakened bill on the House Floor or returning from a Conference with the Senate.

Any bill that does not provide, at a minimum, a public option built on the Medicare provider system and with reimbursement based on Medicare rates-not negotiated rates-is unacceptable. A plan with negotiated rates would ensure higher costs for the public plan, and would do nothing to achieve the goal of providing choice and competition to keep rates down. The public plan with set rates saves $75 billion, which could be lost if rates are negotiated with providers. Further, this public option must be available immediately and must not be contingent upon any trigger.
Stand firm, House liberals. A bad bill will not do much more than enrich the insurance industry at taxpayers' expense. That would be worse than no bill at all.