We have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors on Capitol Hill or in the White House (just kidding, we know it all and will never tell you!), but it seems obvious that the Republican leadership has invested so much (all) of its energy into shouting “GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER OF HEALTHCARE” at the prospect of any legislation that simply removing the small, imaginary basis for this shouting — a public health insurance plan to compete with private insurers on a new health insurance exchange — would not change anything. And guess what! The RNC released a statement this afternoon saying that, indeed, co-ops are also evil socialistic government-run health care systems from the U.S.S.R. programmed to kill your white grandparents and children.
The RNC’s release, titled “Reports Of Public Option’s Demise Greatly Exaggerated: ‘PUBLIC OPTION BY ANY OTHER NAME IS STILL GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE,'” explains what co-ops are: basically Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and Hitler and Hell, combined:
SO WHAT IS A “CO-OP”?
Co-Ops Would Be Funded By Federal Government. “Senator Kent Conrad, a Democrat, proposed creating nonprofit, member-operated health cooperatives to compete with insurers … The government would offer start-up money — Conrad said $6 billion would be needed — in loans and grants to help doctors, hospitals, businesses and other groups form nonprofit cooperative networks to obtain and provide healthcare.” (“Q&A – Co-Ops In Focus In U.S. Health Care Debate,” Reuters, 7/30/09)
Co-Ops Would Be Regulated By Federal Government. “Advisory board makes recommendations to HHS Secretary who makes final decisions about approvals of business plans … Business plans must meet governance standards, and eligible applicants must meet the standard for non-profit, participating mutual insurance.” (“Senate Finance Committee Draft Proposal,” 6/19/09)
Co-Ops Would Force Individuals Who Want To Join To Go Through State Governments. “Co-op membership would be offered through state insurance exchanges where small businesses and individuals without employer-sponsored plans would shop for health coverage.” (“Q&A – Co-Ops In Focus In U.S. Health Care Debate,” Reuters, 7/30/09)
Federal Government Would Use Co-Ops To Monopolize Health Insurance. “[T]hese co-ops sound a lot like a health-care Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which Congress created because there was supposedly no secondary mortgage market. The duo proceeded to use their government subsidy to dominate the market and drive out private competitors.” (Editorial, “Fannie Med,”The Wall Street Journal, 7/30/09)
Probably 37 of 40 Senate Republicans at the very least will never vote for any bill. Zero Republicans in the House will ever vote for anything. Even if the health care bill somehow turned into a wingnut-appeasing measure to simply bomb all Democratic caucuses at their next meetings, Republican rapid-responders would label this a “government takeover of the military.”
So if you’re looking for some slobs to be mad at, better to focus on Kent Conrad, Ben Nelson, Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, and other “centrist Democrats,” because the Co-Op Compromise is just for them.
By Any Other Name [RNC]