Friday, September 18, 2009

Bill O'Reilly Supports A Public Option For Working Americans

I applaud Bill O'Reilly's support of a Public Option within Health Care Reform.

The Huffington Post  9/17/09:  Bombastic Fox News host Bill O'Reilly made a rather notable policy pronouncement on Wednesday's show: he supports the creation of a government-managed health care plan if it provides working Americans with an affordable option to other private insurance plans.

In other words, he supports the public option now being hotly debated in Congress.

As noted by DailyKos' Jed Lewison, O'Reilly had the following exchange with the Heritage Foundation's Nina Owcharenko:

O'REILLY: The public option now is done. We discussed this, it's not going to happen. But you say that this little marketplace that they're going to set up, whereby the federal government would subsidize insurance for some Americans, that is, in your opinion, a public option?

OWCHARENKO: Well, it has massive new federal regulation. So you don't necessarily need a public option if the federal government is going to control and regulate the type of health insurance that Americans can buy.

O'REILLY: But you know, I want that, Ms. Owcharenko. I want that. I want, not for personally for me, but for working Americans, to have a option, that if they don't like their health insurance, if it's too expensive, they can't afford it, if the government can cobble together a cheaper insurance policy that gives the same benefits, I see that as a plus for the folks.
Indeed, supporters of the public option do so for the very reasons O'Reilly notes. A study by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Fund found that "a public coverage program similar to Medicare would reduce projected health care costs by about $2 trillion over 11 years, and reduce premiums by about 20% on average. Within about a decade, 105 million people would be enrolled in the public plan, and about 107 million would have private insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund."

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Kansas Bob said...

Good for O'Reilly! It has surprised me that gradually expanding Medicare to cover other folks has not been mentioned. Why re-invent the wheel? If it is good enough for seniors it is good enough for juniors :)

Joe said...

Expanding Medicare to the entire population rather than only senior citizens and some disabled has been proposed as the Single-payer system or Universal Health Care.

The GOP and the Blue Dog Democrats strongly oppose this option. This is the socialism that they say will destroy our democracy.

The issue for them, in my opinion, is that it eliminates health care insurance companies, which doesn't bother me since they are the source of many of the health care issues that any reform should address.

Medicare has no annual max, no lifetime max, no exclusion of pre-conditions, no restrictions on the patients choice of health care providers and coverage can't be cancelled. However, Medicare is not without its issues: relatively high cost-sharing, no limit on out-of-pocket spending, no long-term care, no dental, no vision.

If a person requires long-term care and does not have the ability to pay for it, Medicaid will pay. In a few states assisted-living facilities are required to accept Medicaid. In most states, the person will be placed in a nursing home when long-term care is required and the person can not pay for the care. In those states, if a person is in an assisted-living facility when their assets run out, he/she will be relocated from the assisted-living facility to a nursing home.

You probably already know that Kansas is one of the states that does not require assisted-living facilities to accept Medicaid, therefore, when a person living in an assisted-living facility in Kansas runs out of money, that person will be moved to a nursing home.

Those that oppose a single-payer system point out that the government will ration health care and grandma will be given only pain-killers while she is dying. The only reason that a government run single-payer system would need to limit coverage is inadequately funding, that is, when the majority of Congress refuses to approve adequate funding through taxation.

The People have to make a choice. Full health care is either a Privelege of those who can personally afford it (that number is decreasing rapidly) or the Right of every American.

I think that health care is going to remain a privelege, perhaps for the rest of my life. I think investors agree with me because stock prices in the health care industry started going up after the Baucus Bill was released. So who's going to benefit from reform? Not the people.