Saturday, September 26, 2009

What do You Get When you Act Like A Republican? The Blue Dog Dummies

The moderate Blue Dog Democrats, you know, the ones who say they want to be fiscally conservative when forming the health care reform bill, are looking just like their counter parts on the other side of the isle. Wrong on saving money, theirs cost a whole lot more, and wrong on calling themselves Democrats. Nancy Pelosi must be smiling.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants to include a robust government-run health insurance plan, or "public option," in the House floor bill -- one that would peg the public option's medical reimbursement rates to Medicare rates. Under Pelosi's preferred plan, the public option would pay doctors and medical providers 5 percent more than Medicare rates for their services.

Moderate Democrats would prefer for the public option to negotiate its own payment rates so it remains "on a level playing field" with private insurers.

On Thursday, the Congressional Budget Office showed that a Medicare-pegged public option would be $85 billion cheaper than the "level playing field" plan.

I'm not trying to look like a genius here. Any reasonably sane adult could tell you the "level playing field" approach simply means the public and private plans would cost the same price. No change. The Blue Dogs are simply trying to appear clued in, but nothing could be further from the truth. It gets better:

The more liberal public option that Pelosi prefers would save the government $110 billion over 10 years -- which is actually $20 billion more than earlier estimates,

So whats a Blue Dog to do? What excuse could you use to save face, yet still act just like a penny pinching budget hawk we know will only cost us more money?
Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.), a leader in the moderate Blue Dog Democrat coalition, said the more robust public option would be bad for physicians.
Incredibly, this small slice we know as the public option will make doctors go broke, even though they still get to charge whatever it is they charge in the private plans. So if it's not the $110 billion savings over 10 years, or the $85 billion a year public plan, why would the Blue Dogs scuttle a 70 year move to universal coverage?

Stupidity, ideology or all of the above? It's not like the public isn't on the side of the public option:

The latest CBS/ New York Times poll shows that 65 percent of Americans saying they are in favor of a public option, up from 60 percent.

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