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Senate drops public option for private coverage

From this morning’s Seattle Times: Watered-down ‘public plan’ emerges in Senate

They may still call it a “public plan,” but private insurers – not the government – would offer coverage under a compromise Democrats are considering to win Senate passage of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

The latest idea bears little resemblance to the original vision outlined by liberals, and embraced by Obama, during the 2008 presidential campaign. That called for the government to sell insurance to workers and their families in competition with industry giants like UnitedHealthcare.

But instead of Medicare-for-the-masses, it would be Blue Cross Blue Shield or Kaiser Permanente, albeit with a government seal of approval from the department that handles the health plan for federal employees, including members of Congress. The Office of Personnel Management – OPM – would become an instantly recognizable federal acronym, like FDA and CDC.

It seems that this new “public plan” would create a kind of government seal of approval for private plans. These plans would be offered to states which may — if they wanted to — buy up policies in bulk and make them available to residents in that state.

Yessiree! Change we can believe in! 

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Gregory Gadow

Gregory Gadow