Conrad's Co-ops Plan Is Worthless

I previously wrote how you would be able to tell if Conrad's co-ops proposal is worthless. The point of the public plan is to provide strong competition for the for-profit health insurance companies. Competition would steal some of their customers and drive down their profit margins. Real competition would be bad for their corporate bottom line.

Yesterday, following reports that the Senate Finance Committee might embrace Conrad's co-ops as a replacement for the public option, stock prices of for-profit health insurance companies soared. From Reuters:
The S&P Managed Health Care index of large U.S. health insurers closed 6.5 percent higher.

Aetna rose 12.6 percent, Coventry was up 12.7 percent and Cigna was 7.7 percent higher, all on the New York Stock Exchange. Centene rose 7.9 percent.

It is clear that the people who have billions invested in health insurance believe that Conrad's idea of a loose association of co-ops simply will not provide strong competition. They believe it would not drive down the cost of premiums for average Americans and will not hurt the massive profits of the insurance companies. Wall Street has spoken, Conrad's “alternative” is worthless compared to a real public option.


RX Mole Team said...

Once again, we agree with your assessment. Thanks for the content.

Sam D said...

The co-ops idea is worse than useless and expensive with no cost savings.

The "coops" that Conrad admires ( low cost, high Quality, like Cleveland Clinic, Mayo, Geisinger...) are all many decades old, grew slowly, OWN their own facilities, and EMPLOY their own doctors, nurses, auxiliary personnel. They function as a unit with close collaboration. They may use contracted outside doctors who are specialists in what they don't cover, but they have had many decades to develop protocols. Their big problem is fitting their total care packages to the payment system demanded by the inflexible outside payers. Many run their own insurance plans like Group Health Care of Western Washington, which has their own including a set of plans for Federal Employees for whom they have posted monthly costs. To get costs for individual policies you have to fill out an application - - - - in other words costs depend on many things like age, preexisting ....

Basically, great care results from unified institutions with their owned institutions and EMPLOYED staff.

So Conrad seems to want to force the Socialization of the health care system by promoting coops which work the same way as health care in Britain, with centrally owned, centrally employed medical staff. In other words Socialism by state.

There is only one reason that doctors haven't erupted against this coop idea: they know it is not only impossible but insincere, a ploy to destroy the public plan and not as an alternative.


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