What Do They Mean By A Co-op?

Posted: Jul 31, 2009 9:25 AM
There's no way around it - support for the so-called "public option" in health care is flat lining. So now we're hearing from the Senate about a "consumer cooperative" or "co-op" as an alternative to the government plan.

However as the Heritage Foundation notes, if this “co-op” is not run and controlled directly by consumers, then it's simply a government-plan under a different name.

"If by health care 'co-op' Congress means allowing private associations to collectively buy health insurance for their members or operate a health insurance exchange, or allowing people to buy health insurance from a non-profit, member-owned private insurer, then those would be positive, pro-consumer developments.

"However, simply slapping the word 'cooperative' onto a new 'insurer,' but then specifying that the government — not the policyholders — picks the board of directors (as Sen. Schumer wants), or that taxpayers will subsidize it, or that it has to pay doctors and hospitals at Medicare rates, would just be an exercise in trying to disguise a 'public plan.'"

The American people won't be sold by smoke and mirrors. There's too much at stake here. And while it's not clear that the President and many Members of Congress are reading the bills, the people are.

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