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Karen Ignagni: health insurance parasites could never compete with a public system

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A Health Plan for All and the Concerns It Raises

“There’s no way to run a side-by-side competition within the current structure,” said Karen Ignagni, the chief executive of America’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s trade association. If the unstated and eventual goal of the public plan is to push private insurers out of the way — a de facto nationalization of health care — “let’s have a debate on a government-run system,” Ms. Ignagni said.

You know what? She is absolutely right.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

from your link:

Some policy experts say a compromise can be struck. They advocate a public plan that would be required to negotiate with doctors and hospitals on a level playing field with commercial insurers, rather than have the government set prices à la Medicare.

Because the public plan would still have much lower overhead costs, it would encourage private insurers to work harder for customers, said Len Nichols, a health economist at the New America Foundation, a public policy institute that advocates health care changes.

“It puts pressure on the private sector status quo,” he said, but avoids using “the nuclear weapon” of government price controls — which he thinks is so controversial that it could derail the discussion.

But some wonder if there is any point in having the government play the insurance game at all if it cannot use its full advantage. “It isn’t a public plan, so why have it?” said Stuart M. Butler, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a policy research organization that advocates limited government involvement in the marketplace.

i always hate it when arch conservatives get it, but the heritage foundation guy does. len nichols' modest proposal is crap, and i'm definitely reading tea leaves here, but i think it's the one [or something very like it] that obama will go for.

sadly, hcan has managed to scare one of our most visible single payer advocates into joining their 'public option' movement.

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Submitted by DCblogger on

I saw that and was sorry. Don't be too downhearted, the big thing is that no federal plan precludes the states from doing single payer. I am beginning to think that the states are our best hope for single payer.