Public Option Without Congressional Approval?

 

If you’ve been following the recent discussion of how to fix ObamaCare you’ve probably heard President Obama and Hillary Clinton calling for a “public option.”

This idea first was proposed by the Obama administration back in 2009 when the healthcare debate started. The idea was to have a federally funded insurance plan available to compete with private plans on the ObamaCare exchanges. Even Democrats opposed this idea, recognizing it was bound to lead to socialized medicine since it would have clear advantages over the private insurance companies – the taxpayers to bail them out!

But now that the private insurance companies are losing millions and raising their premium prices and deductibles to recover, Obama and Clinton see the timing as perfect to once again push for a “public option.” If they are successful, the demise of private insurance and subsequent federal takeover of healthcare is only a matter of time.

No Congressional Approval Needed

Most people have regarded this scenario as unlikely if Republicans maintain control of Congress. But now Dr. Scott Gottlieb, writing in The Wall Street Journal, tells us such a plan could be implemented by Hillary Clinton even without Congressional approval.

Imbedded in the thousands of pages of The Affordable Care Act is a little known provision of the law called Section 1332. This provision allows states to renounce almost all of ObamaCare’s dictates. That includes the law’s politically sacred rules governing the medical benefits consumers are promised and the subsidy structure that helps pay for them. States only need to develop alternative schemes that can achieve the same level of similarly priced coverage that they would attain under ordinary ObamaCare.

In other words, states can opt out of ObamaCare, set up their own exchange using the subsidies from the federal government, and sell their own insurance if they can achieve the same price structure of ObamaCare.

Vermont already tried to do this but had to abandon it three years later when the skyrocketing taxes on small businesses killed the idea. Minnesota, Maine and Rhode Island are proposing variations of this scheme for implementation after 2017. Colorado is pursuing such an idea through a referendum on the ballot in November. It’s no coincidence that all these states are mostly liberal.

Gottlieb says the means to this end is the funding. To pay for these schemes, the 1332 waivers let states pocket the aggregate subsidies – including premium tax credits, cost-sharing subsidies, and small-business tax credits – that they would otherwise receive under ObamaCare. This gives them billions of dollars annually to subsidize their own publicly run health plan.

Similar programs called CO-OPs have been tried in 23 states but to date 17 of these have failed because they underpriced the premiums. Attempts to bail them out with federal dollars have been prevented by the Republican Congress. But if Hillary is president and the Democrats regain the majority in Congress, there will be nothing to stop a complete takeover of healthcare.

This is simply more evidence of the intent of Hillary Clinton to push us into socialized medicine as soon as she can. Combine that with her intent to provide free college education to all but the most wealthy, and open borders to all immigrants, and you have European socialism on this side of the Atlantic that would make Bernie Sanders proud. It’s time for all Americans to wake up before it’s too late!

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