A Fair Compromise for Conrad's Co-op Plan

Senator Conrad is still pushing his idea of eliminating the public plan and only creating a “co-op plan” instead. But he is willing to greatly change his original proposal to gain the support of Senator Schumer.

Ryan Grim at HuffingtonPost.com is reporting that Senator Conrad would now support a single national “co-op”. For the first few years it would also be overseen by a federal board appointed by the Health and Human Services Secretary. (If it is controlled by the public sector how is it not a public plan?)

Senator Conrad wants to force the co-op to eventually lose its federal oversight board, while Senator Schumer wants the board to be permanent. Forcing the co-op to change (or not change) its governing oversight is in direct opposition to the basic principle of a cooperative.

Instead of having a small group of senators forcing millions of future co-op members to change the way they run their organization, they should leave it up to the members. The whole point of a co-op is to allow members to vote on the direction of the cooperative.

It seems the only smart, fair, and appropriate compromise is to put the issue up for vote by the members. For example, The cooperative would lose its federal oversight board only if 50% plus 1 of all members mailed in a ballot demanding the change.

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