Tuesday :: Dec 1, 2009

CBO Analysis of SFC Bill Helps Dems - A Little

by Steve

Democrats reacted happily to the news yesterday that the CBO has concluded the bill now on the Senate floor would reduce health care premiums for most of the individuals now purchasing insurance on the market. When the subsidies for lower and middle income Americans are factored in, the CBO found that the Senate Finance Committee bill reduces health care premium costs for two-thirds of individual purchasers, and has little to no effect on the premium costs for employer-based coverage. Yet Senate Republicans leaped on the conclusion that premium costs for individual purchasers making too much money to qualify for subsidies (the GOP's base) would rise faster under the SFC bill than if the status quo were maintained.

So if employer-based coverage, about 5/6ths of the total market, and two thirds of the individual market (the remaining one-sixth) would not see cost increases from the SFC bill's efforts to cover the uninsured, the GOP is still ready to kill the bill over the cost increases to the remaining sliver, who can afford to purchase whatever they want now on the open market from the same companies who own the GOP senators and want a public option killed.

Look, this bill is flawed and does nothing to address the cost increases built into the current reimbursement system. And yes, I think there is some logic in Senator Dick Lugar's stall-tactic argument that jobs and Afghanistan should be dealt with this year and health care reform should be dealt with in 2010 after the economy heals a little more. But if the best the GOP has this late in the game is opposition based on 10% cost increases to their base, who can already afford to buy coverage under the current broken system, then the Democrats should highlight the GOP's (and Lieberman's) willingness to sink covering the uninsured to protect a minority.

Steve :: 4:00 AM :: Comments (5) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!