Friday, May 15, 2009

Bad Senators. Very Bad Senators!

From the USA Today:

WASHINGTON — Senators were meeting Thursday to consider whether the federal government should jump into the health insurance business as House Democrats began looking at big health care changes, including federal aid to help families earning up to $88,000 pay for insurance and a requirement that all must carry coverage.

A document obtained by the Associated Press shows the plan being developed by the House Energy and Commerce Committee would also require employers to offer coverage to their full-time workers, or pay a percentage of their payroll to the government.

Senators on the Finance Committee on Thursday weighed several designs for a public plan. They also will be given the option of having no public plan at all.

Two of the designs that senators will consider call for a plan that's like Medicare, except it would pay doctors and hospitals a little more generously. In one version, the public plan would be run directly by the government. The alternative would be to have it administered by regional middlemen under contract to the government.

Why contract out to middlemen? That's just another giveaway to the HMO's and PPO's, driving up costs. Can we ever have a discussion about healthcare without including the options most favored by the wasteful insurance industry?