Dispatches from a Small Business
Obama himself does not support the Senate version of the bill because there is no "public option". Obama needs a federal health insurance plan as a stepping stone to full federalization of health care finances. The objections from big unions will help Obama, because pressure on Senators from union lobbyists makes it far more likely that the final bill will be closer to the House's version than the Senate's version.
The end goal is universal, state-run healthcare, as Barney Frank has openly stated, and unless there is an avenue to that, thereâ€™s no compelling reason to pass the Senate version.
That opens 2 possibilities:
1. do nothing, seat Brown, and allow this to die (and maybe pick up the process later, â€œcompromisingâ€ and â€œbipartisanshipâ€ etc.)
2. force the Senate bill vote in the House, and that likely fails.
It sounds like the White House wants #2, but #1 is more likely. #2 would incite riots and looks very desperate, but #1 leaves the politically attractive â€œEvil Republicans killed healthcare (again)â€ excuse.
This is apparently the healthcare reform Obama promised during his campaign - from his website. Much more moderate then the plans that went through congress. This stuff actually seems reasonable. Where is this Obama who believed in these things?
""Make Health Insurance Work for People and Businesses - Not Just Insurance and Drug Companies.
Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.
Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees.
Lower costs for businesses by covering a portion of the catastrophic health costs they pay in return for lower premiums for employees.
Prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
Make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care. ...
Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage.
Ensure everyone who needs it will receive a tax credit for their premiums.
Reduce Costs and Save a Typical American Family up to $2,500 as reforms phase in:
Increasing competition in the insurance industry.
Allow Medicare to negotiate for cheaper drug prices.
Prevent private insurance waste and abuse in Medicare.
Allow consumers to import safe drugs from other countries.
Prevent drug companies from blocking generic drugs from consumers
Lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programs and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market
Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data
Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and their employees.
Reform the insurance market to increase competition by taking on anticompetitive activity that drives up prices without improving quality of care. "
I think MesaEconoguy is right.