October 27th, 2009

The Public Option is now in. Senate and House both have the “Opt-out” plan, which strikes me as a win-win for Dems, as it mollifies the “Moderates” (read: somewhat-less-radical conservatives) while not really giving away anything. Unless the states themselves will be setting up Public Option plans and/or paying for them, I see no reason why anyone would want to opt-out–and the Republicans who do can be vulnerable for denying their constituents cheap, effective health care. Is my read on that right?

Now, Republicans in Congress have a tough choice: when it becomes inevitable that the health care reform bill will pass, how will they vote? If they stick with opposition and the plan proves popular–as is probable–it’ll look bad for them. Right now they’re not opposing the bill because they really believe it’ll lead to Socialism or Death Panels–they’re opposing it because they want to make Obama fail and to follow industry lobbyist direction. When the bill’s passage becomes inevitable and they risk looking like partisan industry shills who opposed what is most likely to be a very popular law, how many will switch?

Of course, the GOP is not only extremely partisan right now, its members are very strictly controlled, almost the opposite of the Democrats. Likely they will stick to their opposition, and simply try their hardest to paint the law as destructive in the 2010 midterms, before it will have had enough time to prove that it works. After that, they’ll just try to take credit for it.

  1. Tim
    October 27th, 2009 at 11:48 | #1

    “I see no reason why anyone would want to opt-out…”

    Well let me take a swipe at that.

    I see no reason why anyone would not want single payer universal health care. But they do. Why? Money.

    State governments are notoriously more corrupt than the federal government. For starters, many state governments are located in small out of the way towns. Frankfurt in Kentucky, Jefferson City in Missouri, etc… So its not nearly as well covered by the media.

    How this unfolds could be very interesting, if it ever gets put into practice.

    But I’ll take a guess. Health Industry will retool, and reorganize, and instead of just buying Federal politicians they’ll be buying state politicians. This may cost more, it may cost less, but a lot more of it will be under the radar so it might be more effective.

    Maybe they’ll just saturate the states where they have stronger presence in, either as a monopoly in the market, or where there’s a lot more Republicans to begin with. They’ll then buy those markets, and pull big monopoly profits out of them.

    This is really big.


    Because of the law of unintended consequences.

    It will shake the very ground we walk on, shifting resources, creating divisions where there were none, etc…. It could give the bad guys more power in safer power bases, or it could help the good guys.

    No one knows. But it could be big. The law of unintended consequences.

    In a state like Missouri, around St. Louis, a lot of people can live in Illinois or Missouri. Most live in Missouri, but might many move over to Illinois?

    Missouri’s politics is so corrupt, there will be no public option in that state. I can just about guarantee it. It could end up being a plantation for the health insurance companies.

    Maybe the health insurance companies will make enough monopoly profits from the red states that it will make them even stronger and richer than before? No one knows.

    So, this will be interesting. People in Utah and Texas, with no public option, will be forced to buy expensive insurance from the Health Care industry. Instead of screaming for public option, they’ll be screaming for ‘opting out of the union’ like they always do.

    Overall, I don’t think the opt out is a good thing. Maybe public outcry and the effects of no public option will be strong, ubiquitous and so thorough that all states will have to opt in. We’ll see.

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