Monday, November 02, 2009
Tricounty DFA Meeting Reminder: Wednesday, 7pm: Healthcare Discussion
This is a quick reminder that we will be having our monthly Democracy For the Great Glens Falls Area meeting this Wednesday, Nov. 4th, at 7pm at the Rockhill Bakehouse Cafe on the corners of Elm and Exchange Streets and Hudson Avenue, in downtown Glens Falls.
Healthcare on the agenda: I have some inquiries into COS Todd Schulte at Rep. Murphy's office about some specifics of the new healthcare bill, and hope to have a response.
There are many good things about the healthcare bill, but also some very troubling ones, and we will be making a recommendation (possibly). For instance, on the troubling questions, among others:
1. Is there a right to sue to force private insurances companies to honor their policies?
2. Why was the Kucinich Amendment guaranteeing the rights of states to create their own single-payer systems dropped?
3. Is it true insurance companies will have the right to immediately raise rates?
4. Contrary to wide spread public expectations, very few people will be able to get into the public option-- enrollment will not be open to all.
5. The public option was supposed to cost less than private insurance, but now the CBO says premiums for the public option may actually be higher than premiums for the private plans.
6. As few as six million people may eventually be in the public option. If so, how will that provide the much ballyhooed competition that will bring down costs and raise efficiency?
So there are many strange aspects to this. The reason the public option may now cost more is that only the sickest patients who cannot get coverage will use it as insurance of the last resort, and because sick patients cost more, the public plan will cost more. That of course, would discredit any public plan, which some critics say may be the idea.
One observation: the public option belongs to the American people. They own it, and they ought to be able to get into it.
I personally do not have an opinion at present. There are very compelling arguments both ways. The pro side says we will not have an opportunity to do this again for a long time. I think that is true. The con side says the bill has turned into another bailout for Wall Street and high finance, and a giveaway to the private insurances companies, and that seems to be true, too, at least at the moment.
Here is one anti view: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/2/799787/-Why-the-Democrats-phony-reform-bill-must-die-horribly.
And a pro one: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/11/2/799436/-Analysis-of-the-Pelosi-Health-Care-Reform-Bill
Much will depend on whether rights under the law can actually be enforced, which is why the right to sue, called the right to private action, may be the deal breaking issue. If you cannot sue, you can count on being screwed.
So there will be much to discuss, including the entertaining fracas in NY-23.
See you soon,