• Tips gratefully accepted here. Thanks!:

  • Recent Comments

    Kathleen A Wynne on Engrossment
    William on Engrossment
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Dissing the Double X
    Propertius on Engrossment
    Propertius on Dissing the Double X
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Dissing the Double X
    William on Engrossment
    Propertius on Dissing the Double X
    Propertius on Dissing the Double X
    Wiliam on Engrossment
    Ga6thDem on Dissing the Double X
    Ga6thDem on Dissing the Double X
    Catscatscats on Engrossment
    Ivory Bill Woodpecke… on Dissing the Double X
    William on Engrossment
  • Categories


  • Tags

    abortion Add new tag Afghanistan Al Franken Anglachel Atrios bankers Barack Obama Bernie Sanders big pharma Bill Clinton cocktails Conflucians Say Dailykos Democratic Party Democrats Digby DNC Donald Trump Donna Brazile Economy Elizabeth Warren feminism Florida Fox News General Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald Goldman Sachs health care Health Care Reform Hillary Clinton Howard Dean John Edwards John McCain Jon Corzine Karl Rove Matt Taibbi Media medicare Michelle Obama Michigan misogyny Mitt Romney Morning Edition Morning News Links Nancy Pelosi New Jersey news NO WE WON'T Obama Obamacare OccupyWallStreet occupy wall street Open thread Paul Krugman Politics Presidential Election 2008 PUMA racism Republicans research Sarah Palin sexism Single Payer snark Social Security Supreme Court Terry Gross Texas Tim Geithner unemployment Wall Street WikiLeaks women
  • Archives

  • History

    December 2009
    S M T W T F S
    « Nov   Jan »
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031  
  • RSS Paul Krugman: Conscience of a Liberal

  • The Confluence

    The Confluence

  • RSS Suburban Guerrilla

  • RSS Ian Welsh

    • Open Thread
      Feel free to use the comments to this post to discuss topics unrelated to recent posts. (Posting was light last week due to some business, but should resume a more regular schedule this week.)
  • Top Posts

Live Blog: Senate Debate on Health Care Bill

The Senate is debating the health care bill this weekend–specifically they are considering the numerous amendments that have been proposed by Senators. Al Franken is acting as President right now. You can watch the debate on C-Span 2 or you can get the live stream here.

Bloomberg: President Obama plans to head to the Senate today to “rally the troops.”

At TNR, Jacob Hacker, a political science professor at Yale, has an opinion piece:You Call This a Compromise?

As the Senate debates the health care bill put together by Majority Leader Reid, the scramble is on to come up with a new compromise regarding the public option–the public health insurance plan modeled after Medicare that will be offered within the new health insurance exchange to Americans who lack workplace health insurance (and to workers in small firms that decide to buy coverage through the exchange).

The problem is that the current proposals aren’t “compromises” and don’t represent “middle ground.”

They represent abandonment of the public plan idea altogether. One proposal that is being floated, for example, is the chartering of a national nonprofit plan, similar to the “cooperatives” that Senator Kent Conrad has advocated. But the whole point of the public plan is to create a plan that is up and running quickly and constructed on the existing infrastructure of Medicare so that it can create competitive pressure for insurers and serve as a backup for consumers on day one. In 35 states, after all, the largest private insurer enrolls more than half of privately insured patients. Many of these plans are nonprofits already–the problem is that they don’t face a credible alternative.

Another, even stranger idea is to offer the nonprofit plans available in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan (FEHBP) within the exchange. Since the FEHBP is itself a form of exchange, this amounts to offer a new set of private plans within a new set of private plans. How is that going to provide real pressure on private insurers in a consolidated insurance market in which nonprofit plans already have a large presence (and often act little differently from for-profit plans)?

In short, the new compromise proposals are anything but. They represent calls for advocates of the public plan to eat their crumbs and be happy.

If you have been following the debate so far, please share your reactions. And join us in discussing what’s happening this afternoon.