Sebelius Tells CNN, Public Option Is Not An “Essential Element”

sebelius

The mask comes off as the Secretary for Health and Human Services tells the host of CNN’s “State of the Union” this morning that the public option is not an “essential element.”

According to Reuters, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said that:

A public insurance option was “not the essential element” of any overhaul, and non-profit cooperatives being considered by a Senate panel could also fulfill the White House goal of creating more competition on insurance.

Not only that, but Sebelius said that President Obama doesn’t want the health care debate to “focus” on the public option aspect. In recent weeks, conservatives have been astroturfing town hall meetings on health care across the nation claiming that any type of government run health care debate would lead to “socialism,” or to a government take over of health care, which would put private insurers out of business.

Progressive Democrats in the House have been fighting to keep a public option in its latest bill. Before Congress went into recess, the public option was watered down by Blue Dog Democrats during final negotiations.

Sebelius’ statement on the public option are troubling to progressives that want to see some form of government run plan, which would compete with the for-profit insurance companies and drive costs down.

Reuters mentioned that at the Senate an alternative to a public option is already being worked out, which would seek to satisfy public option advocates — they’re called “non-profit health cooperatives.” Democrat Senator Kent Conrad and others in the Senate have backed up such an alternative in the past.

According to Reuters:

Six members of the Senate Finance Committee — three from each party — have been negotiating a reform package that would feature member-controlled non-profit health cooperatives instead of the government-run plan.

“I think there will be a competitor to private insurers,” Sebelius said. “That’s really the essential part, is you don’t turn over the whole new marketplace to private insurance companies and trust them to do the right thing.”

Non-profit health cooperatives would be government funded and provide $6 billion in seed money to get them started. Republicans already oppose this alternative, saying that non-profit cooperatives would do the same thing that a public option would, which is put private insurers out of business.

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3 Responses to Sebelius Tells CNN, Public Option Is Not An “Essential Element”

  1. Vote -1 Vote +1hsr0601
    August 16, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Good News !

    A staff writer at The New Yorker and some experts have examined Medicare data from the successful hospitals of 10 regions, and they have found evidence that more effective, lower-cost care is possible. Thankfully, the provisions in the reform include more expansive policies than they have.

    Please be ‘sure’ to visit http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opinion/13gawande.html?hp for credible evidences !

    Some have followed the Mayo model with salaried doctors employed, Other regions, too, have found ways to protect patients against the pursuit of revenues over patient.
    And a cardiac surgeon of them said they had adopted electronic systems, examined the data and found that a shocking portion of tests were almost certainly unnecessary, possibly harmful.

    According to analysis, their quality scores are well above average. Yet they spend more than $1,500 (16 percent) less per Medicare patient than the national average and have a slower real annual growth rate (3 percent versus 3.5 percent nationwide).

    Surprisingly, 16 % of about $550 billion (the total of medicare cost per year) is around $88 billion per year, except for Medicaid (total cost of around $500 billion per year), medicare ‘alone’ can save $880 billion over the next decade.

    In addition, under the reform package, along with the already allocated $583 billion, the wastes involving so called “doughnut hole” , the unnecessary subsidies for insurers, abuse, exorbitant costs by the tragic ER visits etc are weeded out, the concern over revenue (below) might be a thing of the past.

    (( Net Medicare and Medicaid savings of $465 billion + the $583 billion revenue package = $1048 billion – the previously estimated $1.042 trillion cost of reform = $6 billion surplus – $245 billion (the 10-year cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts) = the estimated deficit of $239 billion ))

    In modernized society, the business lacking IT system is unthinkable just like pre-electricity period, nevertheless, the last thing to expect is happening now in the sector requiring the best accuracy in respect to dealing with human lives. Apparently the errors by no e-medical records have spawned the crushing lawsuits (Medical malpractice lawsuits cost at least $150 billion per year), and these costs have led to the unnecessary tests, treatments, even more profits so far. And in different parts of the U.S., patients get two to three times as much care for the same disease, with the same result.

    Thank You !

  2. Vote -1 Vote +1Cindy Lou
    August 16, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    cowards!

  3. Vote -1 Vote +1hsr0601
    August 16, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    Why NOT ?

    1. In an effort to avoid inaction & bankruptcy, there is no denying Single-Payer Plan is the most cost-effective way, and the Public / Private Option is a partial adoption of it. At present, roughly 20 million of the uninsured are young adults, the possible enrollees of lower costs, accordingly, this partial adoption could be more cost-effective than the full one by ratio.

    2. As common sense goes, in terms of fire, preventing it ahead or containing it in earlier phase is the most sensible cost containment of all, and the essential and most cost-saving preventive care programs call for expansive investments of non-profit.

    3. One of three pillars in a new foundation, this health care redesign, to be sure, is going to lead to much-needed massive job creation.

    4. We need to accept Sebelius’ remark this way; If the death panel is true, she is willing to open the door for deficit-driven nonsense.

    5. Good News !

    A staff writer at The New Yorker and some experts have examined Medicare data from the successful hospitals of 10 regions, and they have found evidence that more effective, lower-cost care is possible. Thankfully, the provisions in the reform include more expansive policies than they have.

    Please be ‘sure’ to visit http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/13/opinion/13gawande.html?hp for credible evidences !

    Some have followed the Mayo model with salaried doctors employed, Other regions, too, have found ways to protect patients against the pursuit of revenues over patient.
    And a cardiac surgeon of them said they had adopted electronic systems, examined the data and found that a shocking portion of tests were almost certainly unnecessary, possibly harmful.

    According to analysis, their quality scores are well above average. Yet they spend more than $1,500 (16 percent) less per Medicare patient than the national average and have a slower real annual growth rate (3 percent versus 3.5 percent nationwide).

    Surprisingly, 16 % of about $550 billion (the total of medicare cost per year) is around $88 billion per year, except for Medicaid (total cost of around $500 billion per year), medicare ‘alone’ can save $880 billion over the next decade.

    In addition, under the reform package, along with the already allocated $583 billion, the wastes involving so called “doughnut hole” , the unnecessary subsidies for insurers, abuse, exorbitant costs by the tragic ER visits etc are weeded out, the concern over revenue (below) might be a thing of the past.

    (( Net Medicare and Medicaid savings of $465 billion + the $583 billion revenue package = $1048 billion – the previously estimated $1.042 trillion cost of reform = $6 billion surplus – $245 billion (the 10-year cost of adjusting Medicare reimbursement rates so physicians don’t face big annual pay cuts) = the estimated deficit of $239 billion ))

    In modernized society, the business lacking IT system is unthinkable just like pre-electricity period, nevertheless, the last thing to expect is happening now in the sector requiring the best accuracy in respect to dealing with human lives. Apparently the errors by no e-medical records have spawned the crushing lawsuits (Medical malpractice lawsuits cost at least $150 billion per year), and these costs have led to the unnecessary tests, treatments, even more profits so far. And in different parts of the U.S., patients get two to three times as much care for the same disease, with the same result.

    Thank You !