Stealth Public Option

I have not read the relevant text of the law, so this may be an exaggeration, but it sure would not surprise me:

Remember when Obama and congressional Democrats made a big show of dropping the public option government insurance program that was supposedly going to give private insurers competition and drive rates down? The truth is the public option is alive and well, residing in Section 1334, pages 97-100, of the new health care law. That section gives the U.S. Office of Personnel Management "” which presently manages the federal civil service "” new responsibilities: establishing and running two entirely new government health insurance programs to compete directly with private insurance companies in every state with coverage for people outside of government.Quoting the new law, former OPM director Donald Devine notes that it makes the OPM boss a health care czar, with power to set ""˜profit margin premiums and other such terms and conditions of coverage as are in the interest of enrollees in such plans.' That's open-ended. You can do anything." Dan Blair, another former OPM director, calls the new program "nothing but a placeholder for the public option." Indeed, the OPM head is also given the authority to "appoint as many employees" as needed to run the program, and to spend "such sums as may be necessary" to establish and administer it.

One Comment

  1. caseyboy:

    Surprise, surprise. Obamacare was always intended to be an interim step toward single payer (government) health care. That is why they really weren't concerned with reading the bill before they made it law and why they weren't really concerned about what it would cost. Its all about control, just like financial reform.