Harry Reid and the Half-Baked Plan

December 11th, 2009

Inspired by Assessing Reid’s Healthcare Compromise (Huffington Post 12/09/09), Senate Democrats largely support health-care deal that drops public option (Washington Post 12/10/09), HMO stocks slip amid concern over new regulations (Washington Post 12/09/09), Pelosi Backs Off Public Option (Huffington Post 12/10/09), and Senate Dems may change health care compromise (Washington Post 12/10/09). Also read our earlier piece on Reid’s work to develop consensus.

 The public health insurance option died on Thursday, December 10, 2009, after a months-long struggle with Senate parliamentary procedure. The time of death was recorded as 11:12 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. – Ryan Grim, Pelosi Backs Off Public Option (Huffington Post 12/10/09)

If you’ve been watching CSPAN,

You know Majority Leader Reid has a consensus plan.

It’s hard to get 60 Senators to agree,

And Republicans and Blue Dogs haven’t made it easy.

 

The bill’s survived numerous attempts to kill it

(Reid’s been forced to with concessions fill it).

The battle’s been uphill

But we finally may have a consensus bill.

 

Even Little Lord Nelson was pacified

(Or at least temporarily mollified).

He didn’t rule out supporting the final measure

(I guess we’ll have to wait upon his pleasure).

 

On abortion, the Nelson-Hatch amendment was defeated

(Hopefully that fate with Stupak in conference will be repeated).

The compromise bill maintains the status quo,

Which is about at far as it can be expected to go.

 

On the down side, the public option was replaced with a program to be developed by OPM,

But administered by private insurance companies (as if we don’t already have enough of them).

If private firms don’t perform as stated,

The government plan would be created.

 

No, it may not be as good as the House’s version

(We can try in conference for a conversion),

But Reid tried his best, so don’t blame him.

And Ryan, please don’t be grim.

 

One indicator (to me) that the plan’s not too bad

Is the beating that health insurers had.

Their stocks had gone up 2.5% when the public option was renounced,

But then dropped 3.6% when the 90% rule was announced.

 

Under that new proposal, insurance companies

Can’t have profits and overhead as high as they please.

Those would be limited to 10 percent,

Which a major improvement would represent.

 

Another countervailing development that’s good

(And so far, perhaps not completely understood)

Is the bill’s Medicare Expansion,

Which in some ways is better than a watered-down public option.

 

The bill allows Medicare buy-in at age 55,

Which may do even more than keep the public option alive.

It’s a precedent, Medicare to further expand

(Some say that’s in fact what’s planned).

 

Liberals should actually rejoice,

Because single payer was their first choice.

If Medicare were opened to all

That would be the best approach of all.

 

The House’s public option was kept separate from Medicare

Because service providers feared Medicare’s buying power.

Use of that power is one of the only way to keep costs down,

But it’s hard to get things done in this town.

 

The ink on the compromise didn’t even dry

Before healthcare groups started political pressure to apply.

The powerful associations AHA and AMA

Immediately started to complain and bray.

 

Now Senate Dems say they’re reconsidering the compromise

Which I personally think would not be wise.

Let’s just hope they make the right decision

And don’t completely cede their position.

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2 Responses to “Harry Reid and the Half-Baked Plan”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Medicare Buy In Sell Out Says:

    […] Medicare buy-in plan is apparently […]

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