Top Blue Dog Boasts: "We Held Bill Hostage," Killed Single Payer
Rep. Mike Ross on Thursday boasted about how his Blue Dog coalition "held the [health care] bill hostage in committee for 10 days" and prevented a single payer plan.
We ensured that if there is a government option, it will be just that -- an option -- and it won't be mandated on anybody. If it had been based on Medicare rates, I can assure you that it would have eventually ended up resulting in a single payer-type system, because Medicare has really good rates, because they're negotiating for every senior in America. Private insurance companies could not have competed with that. And so we would have at the end of the day ended up with single payer. Now we've leveled the playing field, if there is a government option they'll have to go out again and negotiate with providers just like private insurance companies do. That was important to me to insure that we don't end up with some type of single payer system.
What type of legislation did we end up with after the Blue Dogs have done their work on it. You can read it for yourself -- all 1,017 pages of it in the PDF.
Say what? You say you don’t have the time or energy to go through a thousand-page document and you are not a lawyer who can easily decipher legal language? Thankfully here are a couple of summaries that break it down for regular folks:
• Open Congress
• House Committee on Education and Labor
This bill is what being fought over the summer in town hall meetings all over the country before the Congress sets out to vote for it in the Fall. The House version of the public option is where the battle lines are currently drawn.
Single payer? Nah – it’s not even on the table. Strangely enough, buried under all the nasty battles and rhetorical skirmishes over this version of the public option, there were two pieces of legislation that were presented to Congress that dealt with enacting single-payer healthcare earlier this year
• HR 676
• S 703
It is interesting to see the miniscule activity on their Open Congress profiles and their obscurity relative to the widespread coverage on the fight over HR 3200. It is interesting to me how (a) HR 676 and S 703 are really the types of healthcare programs that are truly “universal healthcare” in scope; and (b) many Americans (page 7 of the pdf) seem to be in favor of universal healthcare (page 4 of the pdf) yet there was not a significant public uproar to support the enactment of these bills into law. These bills weren’t even part of the vigorous public debate on healthcare.