If there’s no public option:
From the few tea leaves I get to see, I’m getting the sense that people on The Hill are not even having the conversation about just how unpopular forcing people to buy shitty insurance they don’t want is going to be.
…The Baucus bill is a mandate with no price controls, because it lacks a public health insurance option to increase competition with private insurance…
May 27, 2009:
….Question: Thank you for coming today. And many people whine about taxes., but my family, we’re paying like over seven thousand dollars a year in health premiums. And I’d much rather trade that in for a national health care system. And I appreciate what my taxes buy. [applause]
Senator McCaskill: Well, thank, thank you for that. Does anybody mind if I read another. [laughter] You know, I, I do not think we’ll do a, the President doesn’t support, and I don’t support a single payer system. I think competition in the marketplace and choices is very, very important in health care. Now, if we enact these reforms and , but I have a feeling that this is gonna work, because I think we’re gonna have the kind of competition that will drive down costs. And, we gotta make sure that the government run health program is fair, because we don’t want it to be so overwhelming that it stamps out all the private insurance. ‘Cause we want that healthy friction in competition, between the two. We certainly have had competition as it’s related to the, the, some of my friends on the other side of the aisle want to do with health care what we did with Medicare D. Which is a government sponsored but completely private program. Well, you know, yeah, there’s competition there. Sometimes there’s so much competition it’s confusing, seniors don’t know whether they’re going or coming, whether drugs are covered or not, whether they’re getting a good deal or a bad deal. But the problem with that is, we built into that program six billion dollars worth of profit on taxpayers for the pharmaceutical industry. Well that doesn’t seem right to me. They actually put in the bill that we couldn’t buy bulk to get down prices. Well that’s the silliest thing I’ve ever heard of. So I don’t think we want to emulate Medicare D because I don’t think we can afford it. I don’t think we can afford to plus up certain silos of profit in the health care industry. I think we can figure out ways to provide competition and choices and to bring down costs. And that are the three goals. Competition, choices, and bring down costs. And I’m kind of excited. I think we’re actually gonna get a bill this year. I feel pretty good about it. [applause]…
December 15, 2008:
…Question: On the issue of health care, this is a great opportunity to jump right in there, you know there’s a lot of [inaudible] thought, you know, early in the campaign health care was really being talked about by the group of [inaudible] candidates, by Barack Obama, by John McCain, so we thought this, the stars were aligned, health care is actually going to get dealt with, but then we had this little economic problem kind of creep up towards in there and everybody said, “It’s never going to happen!” But I was wondering if you had any insight, from the outset he picked Daschle, given the appointments that he did, that perhaps the impetus for reform now actually exist than the whole possibility of stimulus, in terms of the economic problems that may actually help push health reform along. So I just kind of wanted your insight on that.
Claire McCaskill: Well, I think Daschle’s going to be a very strong – he clearly, I mean I’d recommend his book on health care reform to anybody who hasn’t read it. He’s really knowledgeable in this area and this was what he really wanted to do because he is driven in terms of wanting to work on health care reform in this country. I think we will get at some serious health care reform within the first, hopefully the first of two terms, but the first Barack Obama administration. I think they’ll be some nibbling around the edges on some health care reform, possibly even in the stimulus. Expansion of the ability to stay on COBRA for example. Some, some additional funding for children’s health insurance. Potentially some tweaking of the Medicare rates. I think all of those are within the realm of possibility in the stimulus. But nobody is backing off at really taking a whack at the silos of profit in the health care industry and reconfiguring health care so it’s more efficient, effective and certainly more preventative. Yes?…
“…I don’t think we can afford to plus up certain silos of profit in the health care industry. I think we can figure out ways to provide competition and choices and to bring down costs. And that are the three goals. Competition, choices, and bring down costs…”
“…But nobody is backing off at really taking a whack at the silos of profit in the health care industry…”