Saturday, June 6, 2009

Teddy’s Bucket List

In the grand Washington tradition of waiting until late Friday to release bad or potentially controversial news, Senator Ted Kennedy’s office has released a draft of legislation guaranteeing universal healthcare coverage by providing for, among other things, a government-sponsored healthcare plan to compete with private insurers.

Under the American Health Choice Act, insurers would be required to offer a basic level of care and may not turn anyone down for coverage because of preexisting conditions. A government-sponsored “affordable access” plan would also be created to compete with private insurers.

Two quick observations about AHCA – OK, maybe three. The first, I hope they come up with some snappy acronym or buzzword for this; something like Medichoice or FreedomPlan. Heck, I’d even settle for the Ted Kennedy Benefits and National Choice Required Universal Plan, or BANCRUP for short.

The second, the insurance industry is not likely to roll over on this one without a protracted fight. Exactly how are private insurers supposed to “compete” with a government-subsidized plan – will insurers have access to taxpayer funds as well? Oh, and there’s also a provision in the draft that would limit insurer profits. Doesn’t sound like there’ll be much competition in this competition.

And finally, while the bill is loaded with dessert, there’s not much in the way of spinach. That is to say, there is nothing in the bill that speaks to how all of this will be funded. Remember, "we're out of money."

Maybe BANCRUP is an apt name after all.


Mudge said...

GG - I absolutely LOVE it when you write. How soon does CW return? Can we convince him to stay a little longer?

bubils said...


Smoothfur said...

Can we the voters require that any healthcare plan adopted by congress be applied to all branches of government? This should ensure some sober deliberations prior to voting for or signing into law.

Sally said...

Mudge, when are you going to write something? Or are you still holding out for a cut of the profits?

Mudge said...

Holding out for a cut.

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