The state's "opt out" part is a LIE. The proposals include a TRIGGER, where the states' insurance companies would have to provide a certain amount of coverage or the option is TRIGGERED. This is a back-door way of implementing the public option. And in a way even more DISGRACEFUL, because the horrid effects would not be felt until other politicians were in office and the ones to blame would be long gone.
ABC News' Jonathan Karl reports:
The public option. The idea was believed to be dead. Liberals wanted it, but Senate vote counters insisted it simply could not pass the Senate. The dynamic, however, has changed. The public option may be back from dead.
I am told that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is leaning toward including the creation of a new government-run insurance program – the so-called public option – in the health care reform bill he will bring to the full Senate in the coming weeks.
Democratic sources tell me that Reid – after a series of meetings with Democratic moderates – has concluded he can pass a bill with a public option.
This is not because there has been a new groundswell of support for the idea. In fact, there are still a handful of Democrats who -- along with Olympia Snowe and every other Republican – oppose the idea. As recently as this morning, Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA), for one, dismissed recent polls that show public support for the idea, telling NPR, "I think if you asked, do you want a public option but it would force the government to go bankrupt, people would say no.”
That would appear to be a problem because Reid needs 60 votes to pass a health care bill and there are simply not 60 Senators who support a public option. But Reid is now convinced that Democratic critics of the public option will support him when it counts – on the procedural motion, which requires 60 votes, to defeat a certain GOP-led filibuster of the bill. Once the filibuster is beaten, it only takes 51 votes to pass the bill.
And Democratic critics of the public option would get a chance to go on-the-record with their opposition by voting for an amendment to strip it from the health care bill. Under Senate rules, such an amendment would need 60 votes to pass. And while there may not be 60 votes in favor of a public option, there are also not 60 votes against it. So, it would remain in the bill.
The downside: The move would almost certainly cost Democrats the support of Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), the sole Republican who now supports Democratic health care reform efforts. Asked today if she would vote to block a bill with public option, Snowe told reporters, “On the public option? I'd say I'm against a public option, so yes."
Another important point: Reid’s version of the public option is different from the more liberal version advocated by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in two key ways: 1) Reid’s version would allow individual states to opt-out of the program, giving public option critics the chance to say that their states retain the right to scrap the idea; and, 2) Under Reid’s plan, the new government insurance program would have to negotiate payment rates with health care providers. Under Pelosi’s, payment rates would be tied to the lower rates paid by Medicare.
Tweet, write and fax your senators and reps about this health-destruction/monstrosity. Don't let the America-Haters destroy the greatest healthcare system in the world.