Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Public Option

The Republicans always seem to beat the Democrats when it comes to framing a message.  The health insurance reform “public option” is the latest victim of unfavorable framing.

According to the rightwing, the public option is government run healthcare.  The Democrats have been trying to explain that it isn’t but the issue has become so muddled nobody really understands it.

I don’t understand why we don’t just call it government insured healthcare.  When someone gets sick, the government insures that the caregivers get paid even though the patient doesn’t have the cash and hasn’t paid in enough to cover the expense.  Seems pretty simple to me.  

I would compare it to government insured bank accounts.  If a bank goes belly up, the government insures that the depositors get their money back.  Nobody seems to have a problem with that.


  1. what we are talking about is a program very much like Medicare. It will charge premiums. It will supplement the premiums of people who have earnings below a certain point. But, that’s also true of private plans. It is expected to cost 15% or so less than private plans. Exactly what conditions will be covered and for how much is still under discussion. I would think that they will use much of the coverage already laid out for Medicaid and Medicare.

    One important factor is whether the plan will be allowed to use the Medicare network. Every health care provider that accepts Medicare should be offered the option of adding the public plan as an accepted insurer. Rates should be tied to Medicare. You could pay Medicare+10% and still operate for less than the private plans.

    One of the talking points being offered by the insurance industry is that they have low profits in the 3$-5% range. What they don’t tell you is that part of their operating cost is used to deny coverage. This may be a legitimate business expense, but it serves no interest at all for the consumer. Then there are the huge salaries and bonuses in the insurance industry. That’s not profit for the shareholders, but it’s profit none-the-less.

    You could insure 20,000 people each year on just one CEO’s earnings. They also spend money on advertising and sales. Not one penny of that goes towards health care. Not one penny of the profits goes towards health care. Not one penny of the exorbitant salaries and bonuses for executives goes towards health care. Not one penny of the salaries of people who work on recessions and denials goes towards health care.  

  2. until Americans get it, and uses the fact that they are being sent as proof that the administration can’t manage healthcare…

    When do I get to stick a sock in someone’s mouth?

    I’m pretty sure the 400 or so doses are statistically insignificant; we have responsibility for maintaining the health of these “terrorist detainees” (or at least alleged, since none of them have had any due process, but why split hairs?); and I have little doubt that the other side of this guy’s mouth is warning people away from getting the inoculation at all.


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