Healthcare Reform: Now What?

Sky Blue

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Original poster
Jan 8, 2005
6,860
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So the Senate Finance Committee has finally passed it's healthcare bill. What's the next step?

Today majority leader Reid and others meet to combine the SFC bill with the health-care legislation that was approved back in July by HELP Committee:

Mr. Reid will gather the group in his office on the second floor of the Capitol for its first official meeting on Wednesday. The group includes Senator Max Baucus, Democrat of Montana and the Finance Committee chairman; Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut, who was acting chairman of the HELP committee when it passed its health care bill; and representatives of the White House.
Link

As Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) notes the fate of the public option is in Reid's hands:

"Leader Reid has the option of putting it in the final bill," Schumer said of the public option. "If he puts it in the final bill, in the combined bill, then you would need 60 votes to remove it. And there clearly are not 60 votes against the public option. And so we're urging him to do that, and he's seriously considering it."
Unfortunately, there's a spanner in the works:

Jim Manley, a spokesman for Mr. Reid, said that Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the lone Republican on the Finance Committee to vote in favor of the bill, would be invited to future sessions. And Mr. Manley said the Democratic leader was prepared to go to substantial lengths to keep Ms. Snowe’s support.

“He is prepared to do what he can to keep her on board while putting together a bill that can get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster,” Mr. Manley said.
So now we see what the Democrats are made of. Will they bend over backwards to accommodate President Snowe with no public option or a weak trigger? Stay tuned!

EDIT: NYT has a comparison of all the bills:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2009/08/12/us/politics/0812-plan-comparison.html
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
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Salt Lake City, UT
All of these bills look like no improvement to the situation. I thought the biggest problem was that health care has gotten so expensive? How is forcing people to buy what is on the market now going to lower costs?

P-Worm
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
It's the beginning of the end. There will be no substantial health care reform. Reid will cave.
Come on, you know two party politics and the real power of lobbies. One side comes up with a grand plan knowing that getting only half the stuff across will be considered a victory, which in political terms is.

We all remember Clinton with rights for gay personnel in the military, and then it gets watered down to "Don't ask, don't tell" or some version of that.

Reagan and Bush who wanted to give business, big and small, more write offs across the board, but in the end, tax legislation towards writing off legitimate expenses became more strict.

Remember Bush Jr. trying to make promises to the Christian Right only to be an empty suit.

Remember Carter with his need to kill off black ops and in doing so, ends up having to covertly come up with (the still denied) US Army Delta Force.

And the famous one with Bush senior promising no new taxes, and then he turns around and legislates the biggest tax hikes in American history towards the middle class.

Obama, by comparison, is doing a great job, and he knew coming in that an original idea will get watered down before the final draft.
 

leekohler

macrumors G5
Dec 22, 2004
14,162
19
Chicago, Illinois
Come on, you know two party politics and the real power of lobbies. One side comes up with a grand plan knowing that getting only half the stuff across will be considered a victory, which in political terms is.
No public option is a defeat, not a compromise.

We all remember Clinton with rights for gay personnel in the military, and then it gets watered down to "Don't ask, don't tell" or some version of that.
DADT was a defeat, not a compromise. It did nothing to protect gay soldiers.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
No public option is a defeat, not a compromise.



DADT was a defeat, not a compromise. It did nothing to protect gay soldiers.
Welcome to politics.

As for public option, yes have it. At the same time don't bankrupt medical facilities and small offices of doctors. Don't bankrupt the insurance agencies or else we are really in big trouble.

The transition to a public option has to happen, but slowly. The first step is to regulate private insurance rates among states and have public oversight of rates too high.

When public option is viable, it can't just be one option ultimately. Yes, we get to one option, but we need a few.

The President has the right idea and has the ball rolling and that won't be undone since, unless a dozen or so Democratic senators become anti-public option or anti-universal healthcare, this ball is not to be stopped.

Let's guide this momentum wisely as it's now on its way to being the law of the land. A broken health care system we experienced these past few decades have made both sides ask for reform.
 

djellison

macrumors 68020
Feb 2, 2007
2,228
4
Pasadena CA
At the same time don't bankrupt medical facilities and small offices of doctors. Don't bankrupt the insurance agencies or else we are really in big trouble..
They're not bankrupt here in the UK.

A compromise in this instance is a mess. The US needs, wholesale, to shift to the EU style model. It would save billions.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,547
7,802
CT
All of these bills look like no improvement to the situation. I thought the biggest problem was that health care has gotten so expensive? How is forcing people to buy what is on the market now going to lower costs?

P-Worm
None of the bills proposed would lower the cost off health care, they just pass the buck on who pays for it. That is all the public option would do. What we need is for the insurance companies to actually charge less for services and not deny coverage to anyone. That is the issue that isn't being addressed.
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
None of the bills proposed would lower the cost off health care, they just pass the buck on who pays for it. That is all the public option would do. What we need is for the insurance companies to actually charge less for services and not deny coverage to anyone. That is the issue that isn't being addressed.
I believe that a public option would eventually drive prices down because it would provide fierce competition for the private insurance companies.

P-Worm
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,547
7,802
CT
I believe that a public option would eventually drive prices down because it would provide fierce competition for the private insurance companies.

P-Worm
How much would it go up in the mean time. We need instant relief.
 

MyDesktopBroke

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2007
396
0
When the finance committee passed the bill, the insurance lobby looked it over and said they would have to dramatically raise prices to compensate with the new laws that would be put on them.

That means we need one of two things.

1) Public option with a government set low price payed for via premiums, ending subsidies to private sector and raising some taxes.

2) Government directly setting prices in the private sector.

otherwise we already know that the insurance companies will raise their prices. They were kind enough to say that the finance bill wouldn't work.
 

Sky Blue

Guest
Original poster
Jan 8, 2005
6,860
10
When the finance committee passed the bill, the insurance lobby looked it over and said they would have to dramatically raise prices to compensate with the new laws that would be put on them.

That means we need one of two things.

1) Public option with a government set low price payed for via premiums, ending subsidies to private sector and raising some taxes.

2) Government directly setting prices in the private sector.

otherwise we already know that the insurance companies will raise their prices. They were kind enough to say that the finance bill wouldn't work.
BULLETIN — POLITICO’s Carrie Budoff Brown: This morning, Sen. Schumer is going to say, in light of the insurance industry report warning premiums will rise under reform, that Dems should push to revoke the health insurance industry's antitrust exemption as a floor amendment. This will be at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, where Majority Leader Harry Reid is also testifying." 10 a.m., Dirksen 226, “Prohibiting Price Fixing and Other Anticompetitive Conduct in the Health Insurance Industry.

http://dyn.politico.com/printplaybook.cfm?uuid=52A0AFEB-18FE-70B2-A8F200A4AD71E9FB

Schumer said on MSNBC that he believes the removal of the exemption will be included in the final bill, either in the merged legislation or as amendment on the floor.
 

MacNut

macrumors Core
Jan 4, 2002
21,547
7,802
CT
Schumer said on MSNBC that he believes the removal of the exemption will be included in the final bill, either in the merged legislation or as amendment on the floor.
Why not do this at the beginning?
Oh- it would go down rather quickly. Insurance companies would have to scramble to keep customers.
From what I understand once this passes it will take 4 years to go into effect.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
They're not bankrupt here in the UK.

A compromise in this instance is a mess. The US needs, wholesale, to shift to the EU style model. It would save billions.
Yes an EU style model would save money and we will get there, in time. Why don't any of us try and fix a broken, yet huge system? It entails more than what we read in the news.

Obama has stated if he had 8 years in office, he still would not see everything he wants done in medical reform. When it's all said and done, we will be happier, and tuesday was the first step by getting it passed on a vote. Of all steps, it was THE step for getting it started.

When we have the system in place, the fine tuning will take the time. The devil is in the details. Nobody knows how things will look in the end, but it's sure to be better than the health care system we saw in the Bush years. Anyone disagree with that?
 

Zombie Acorn

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2009
1,301
9,062
Toronto, Ontario
Yes an EU style model would save money and we will get there, in time. Why don't any of us try and fix a broken, yet huge system? It entails more than what we read in the news.

Obama has stated if he had 8 years in office, he still would not see everything he wants done in medical reform. When it's all said and done, we will be happier, and tuesday was the first step by getting it passed on a vote. Of all steps, it was THE step for getting it started.

When we have the system in place, the fine tuning will take the time. The devil is in the details. Nobody knows how things will look in the end, but it's sure to be better than the health care system we saw in the Bush years. Anyone disagree with that?
You just fed the insurance companies forced customers. What exactly is going to drive them to be competitive? They aren't now because of government restriction, they sure as hell won't be when they have a forced customer surplus.

If I was running an insurance company right now I would be throwing an executive/lobbyist party the entire week.
 

63dot

macrumors 603
Jun 12, 2006
5,271
339
norcal
If there's no public option, I completely disagree with that.


There will be a public option, and for many there is already right now (federal civil service, govt workers that are not federal such as state and city government employees and some contractors, military and dependents, etc). It's a logical step to offer some, and then more to the non public servants or military.

Will the public option be what we envision as from an Obama campaign speech? Probably not.

Will this be a movement ahead from Bush? I hope so.