Tag Archives: blue dogs

Lieberman offers health reform plan – “Private option” would give Treasury to insurance companies

Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced his own health care reform proposal today, one relying on private insurance and cost-cutting. The measure is the Connecticut Indepublican’s first move since announcing his opposition to any Democratic bill containing a government-run public insurance option.

Lieberman calls his bill “the private option.”

Under Lieberman’s plan, the U.S. Treasury would be transferred to a consortium of the nation’s largest health insurance companies led by Wellpoint and United Health. Giving all the public’s money directly to health insurance companies would lower costs by cutting out the middleman, according to Lieberman.

“Insurance companies are currently saddled with the enormous cost of collecting thousands of metric tons of cash from our doctors offices, hospital rooms, ERs and piggy banks,” he explained.

“This is an expensive proposition.  Twenty cents of every health care dollar currently pays for picking up that dollar from wherever it is, and moving it to the joint insurance industry vault at the United Health Group in Minnetonka, Minnesota,” said Lieberman.

“The private option will end this practice.  By giving the entire U.S. Treasury to the insurance companies, you’re paying them when you pay your taxes. Now that’s what I call introducing efficiency into a system,” he said.

Lieberman’s proposal is already receiving positive comments from both sides of the aisle.  Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) says there is much to like about the private option. “My wife is on the board of Wellpoint, and I can’t tell you the number of times she has thrown out her back from lifting bags of cash.  A private option means she wouldn’t have to risk her health like that anymore.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner echoed Bayh’s support. “The current system isn’t just expensive, it’s also wasteful. When they move the cash they don’t always have enough bags, and some of it inevitably falls out of the wheelbarrows. Ending that waste, it should be at the top of our list,” Boehner said.

Conservatives oppose forcible health – “Save our freedom to be sick”

(Upland, CA) Members of Congress from coast to coast are having their eyes opened this week, as they hear from constituents opposed to health care reform.

“We’re speaking out to save our freedom to be sick,” said Dee Fibrilasian, one of many self-described ‘sickers’ — people who believe illness is a right.

Fibrilasian and like-minded sickers turned out here in force Monday for a midday town hall meeting held by 54th District Representative Dino Frandle, a member of the House Democratic ‘blue dog’ coalition. They hooted, hollered and booed as Frandle expressed cautious support for reforms that would cover additional Americans while leaving intact the private insurance system.

“Forcibly insuring more people is the opposite of the direction we should be headed,” shouted one woman who declined to give her name because, she explained, she had called in sick to be able to attend the meeting.

“What will happen to our sick leave, if socialized Obamacare makes sure we are too healthy to use it?” she wondered. She went on to say she feared she might have to quit one of her three jobs, if cheaper insurance made it possible for employers to raise pay.

Fibrillasian said she agreed with statements former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin made on her Facebook page, alleging reform would lead to government ‘death panels’ pruning high-cost senior citizens and the developmentally disabled from insurance pools. “What makes government think it can kill people better than the private sector?” Fibrilasian asked.

After the town hall meeting Rep. Frandle said he was impressed by the turnout and by the forceful way the sickers stated their opinions. “They were certainly loud,” he said as he departed for a luncheon, a reelection fundraiser with employees of Aetna and Pfizer.