Every once in a while, Sen. Jay Rockefeller remembers the people who sent him to represent them and does them proud. Yesterday was one of those days:
Mr. Schumer said the public option would hold down costs because it would not have to generate profits, answer to shareholders or incur marketing expenses. His proposal would have required the public plan to negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals, rather than setting prices based on Medicare reimbursement rates. Under Mr. Rockefeller’s plan, the payment of doctors and hospitals would have been based on Medicare rates for the first two years.
Mr. Rockefeller said the Congressional Budget Office had estimated that a government insurance plan could slice $50 billion from the cost of Mr. Baucus’s bill, originally put at $774 billion over 10 years. The budget office predicted that eight million people would initially enroll in the public plan — about one-third of those who would seek coverage through new markets, or insurance exchanges.
“The public plan will be optional,” Mr. Rockefeller insisted. “It will be voluntary. It will be affordable to people who are now helpless before their insurance companies.”
From the West Virginia MetroNews:
Senator Rockefeller argued for his Consumer Choice Health Plan until the end. "It's a very serious decision," he said as the hours of debate came to a close. "It's a moral decision. It's an ethical decision. It's a human decision. It's a health care decision. It's writ large in our legacies."
The failed proposed public option program, as Rockefeller envisioned it, would have competed directly with private plans in a national health insurance exchange for those who do not have insurance. The CCHP would have been required to meet the same insurance regulations as private plans and be financially self sustaining.
"I think it's a real solution to protect American families and their economic security," Senator Rockefeller said early in the day on Tuesday. "I do not understand why we wouldn't do this."
Senator, campaign contributions aren't as huge a distraction to someone who grew up with money. If you really think about it, the answer's right there.
But thank you for your efforts.