Baucus Bill Includes Kucinich-like Option for State Level Single Payer (Mark Matson)
Apparently Wyden slipped in an amendment that lets states experiment in a way consistent with single payer.  This is very similar to what Kucinich tried to do on the House side, only with more stealth.

That could be used for a public option. But it could also be used for single-payer. The potential problem, as Jon Cohn points out, is that a Republican statehouse could use it to ratchet back coverage in existing public programs. But since the amendment doesn't allow anything to drift beneath the levels envisioned in the bill itself, it's hard to imagine a conservative state using it to be any less generous than the state would otherwise be.
I think that along with ending the Health Insurance sector Anti-Trust exemption, this is the most important thing not included in the pledge block's vow. We have to communicate that this is vital to Health reform.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

The catch is that the secretary of HHS would be the arbiter of whether state proposals met those criteria. Liberals I consulted said the proposal worried them because it'd open the door to scaling back existing programs that serve the poor. In other words, imagine what happens in 2022, when the governor of Idaho petitions the federal government for permission to gut Medicaid--and President [R] tells her HHS Secretary to give the go-ahead.

But the ratchet effect favors liberals on this kind of legislation.  Once people have something, they aren't so willing to give it up.

The exception, of course, is when dealing with poor people who don't vote.  I am worried about potential problems along those lines.  But they only have so much flexibility.  In any case, I agree this is something to consider.

[ Parent ]

Open Left Campaigns



Advanced Search

Powered by: SoapBlox