IBD: Private Coverage Still Not An Option

Posted: Jul 22, 2009 3:55 PM
Following last week's bombshell report from Investor's Business Daily that the House health reform plan would essentially outlaw private medical insurance, IBD has continued pressing forward in its analysis of the Democrat-supported legislation.  Not only did the Ways and Means Committee confirm their interpretation of the law, but IBD has also confirmed this suspicion with individual members of Congress. 
It was also confirmed by Ways and Means staff director Cybele Bjorklund, who, in response to questions from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin during a committee markup session, admitted last week that insurance providers 'cannot create new policies outside of that window outside of the exchange.'
The health care "exchange" is something we've all heard President Obama bragging about--a cornerstone of his overhaul plan.  But in examining this idea further, IBD now reports:
...[T]he exchange will not be a private market. It will be a program in which Americans can buy individual plans from private companies in competition with the "public option" provision of the bill that will provide taxpayer-subsidized coverage...

The exchange will be a highly regulated clearinghouse of providers that meet the government's standards. Only those providers that follow Washington's stringent guidelines will be allowed to join this exclusive club.  The government, through an unelected health choices commissioner, will set premiums, dictate benefits, determine deductibles and establish coverage.
In a letter written in objection to IBD's original report, California Rep. Henry Waxman actually confirms IBD's analysis: outside the exchange, providers "can't continue to market" existing "policies to new customers."

Thanks for making that crystal clear for us, Congressman!
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