In a huge victory for the health insurance industry, hospitals, and PhRMA, the Blue Dogs managed to stop the robust public option tied to modified Medicare rates. The Blue Dog Coalition, who must call themselves “fiscal conservatives” purely as part of some elaborate ironic joke, fought tooth and nail to kill the robust public option, which would have saved the federal government roughly an additional $85 billion. It would also have provided families with an option roughly 10-11% cheaper than the typical private health insurance plan. That would be roughly a $1,400 a year reduction in premiums for the average family.
The Blue Dogs fought hard and they won a big victory for the for-profit health insurance companies. If I were an insurance company CEO, I would be writing each of them a very large thank you note (i.e. a campaign contribution). Of course, today was a huge defeat for the American taxpayer, serious health care reform, and working class Americans who are going to be denied a robust public option which could have saved them thousands of dollars.
Their efforts to weaken the public option make it clear who the Blue Dogs really represent. With a few notable exceptions, the Blue Dogs don't stand with working class Americans or for “fiscal conservatives.” When it really mattered, the Blues Dogs fought for the health insurance corporations, regardless of how much their efforts will hurt the federal deficit or middle-class Americans who need relief from out-of-control premiums.