(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
Wyden amendment gaining support
By Tony Romm, The Hill – 09/22/2009
An amendment to the Senate Finance Committee’s healthcare bill that would permit employees to shop around for health insurance policies is slowly gaining momentum on the Hill.
The idea, pitched by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) last week, would open the proposed “insurance exchange” — where consumers can compare and purchase insurance plans — to Americans who already receive coverage from their employers.
What has made Wyden’s proposal especially appealing today, however, is the Congressional Budget Office’s recent cost estimate. By their math, his amendment would reduce the bill’s impact on the deficit by about $1 billion over the next 10 years.
Senator Ron Wyden is a member of the Senate Finance Committee. His Amendment now, could make a BIG Difference later, in the TYPE of Public Option we end up getting — one that is OPEN to ALL, or Open to Only the very few …
Senator Ron Wyden: The Public Option Doesn’t Go Far Enough
Kathleen Wells, HuffPost – Sept 21, 2009
Kathleen Wells: I read a summary of your Plan and it’s an exchange. What about the public option?
Senator Wyden: I’m open to the pubic option […] I happen to think that choice, whether it’s private sector choice or public sector choice, is the key to competition. Competition is the key to holding the insurance companies accountable, turning the tables on the insurance lobby. It’s almost as if the country has been having this debate between the ideas of private option versus public option when what we really ought to be thinking about is “no choice” option.
[That] is what I think is going to happen unless we can empower consumers and make sure they have plenty of opportunities to hold the insurance lobby accountable. The insurance industry does not want something like this because they are slicing a fat hog. They’ve got people captive. Folks, most of them, sign up with their employer. They take what their employer gives them. They don’t get choices and there is no incentive to improve products and no opportunity for the consumer to turn the tables on the industry.
If you Like your Insurance — you can keep it.
If you DON’T Like your Insurance? — you STILL might HAVE TO keep it!
SO Consumers Beware! … (especially Employed-Consumers)
In many ways a Watered-down Public Option, is more dangerous than NO Public Option. A Watered-down Public Option would give us the illusion of Change, WITHOUT the sweeping RESULTS OF actual CHANGE!
Without Wyden’s “Free Choice” Amendment, the Baucus Bill is a non-starter.
Senator Ron Wyden “Free Choice” Amendment if accepted in Mark-up now, could make a BIG Difference later — it could be the mechanism that Let’s us ALL go to that Insurance Exchange — just like members of Congress do!
And if the House plays their cards right — one of the Choices on the Exchange SHOULD be the Public Option.
Health Reform’s Missing Ingredient
By Ron Wyden, Senator D-OR, NYTimes Op-Ed
September 17, 2009
The various bills making their way through Congress would, as the president explained, provide some consumer choice by establishing large marketplaces where people could easily compare insurance plans and pick the one that best suits their needs.
The problem with these bills, however, is that they would not make the exchanges available to all Americans. Only very small companies and those individuals who can’t get insurance outside of the exchange – 25 million people – would be allowed to shop there. This would leave more than 200 million Americans with no more options, private or public, than they have today.
BUT, I thought the Public Option, would give us a Choice —
give US ALL a Choice?
It seems that the unspoken secret is, that without some serious changes, without Open Choice for all, to shop on the Insurance Exchange — “more than 200 million Americans” will end up with NO Choice at all, according to the CBO (remember they project “only about 10 million will end up on the PO”, as the Bills defining The Exchange currently stand.)
Learn more, about ALL the Options.
We don’t need Choice in Name Only —
We need REAL Choice — for Everyone!
It’s time to put American Consumers back in the Driver Seat!
ALL Americans. … It’s time to send Private Insurance Exec’s to the Curb!
And that is what Free Choice FOR ALL — is all about!
Don’t let it pass us by.