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Thread: CBO: Public option premiums higher than private plans

  1. #11
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    Re: CBO: Public option premiums higher than private plans

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
    and the cost of covering the presently uninsured.
    I'm not even really considering that, as the question of whether we should be spending those resources to expand coverage is totally separate from the question of whether this plan is an improvement for everyone else. One can be addressed without the other.

    I find that the most useful way to look at the proposals is this: Pretend that we've already agreed to extend coverage to millions more people through some combination of loosening Medicaid restrictions/offering subsidies. Once that's decided, what is the most cost-efficient way to implement that proposal?
    Last edited by RightinNYC; 10-30-09 at 12:38 AM.
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    Re: CBO: Public option premiums higher than private plans

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Couldn't that problem be largely resolved by removing the rules forbidding insurance companies from competing across state lines? If every insurer could compete nationwide, it seems reasonable to assume that costs would largely fall into line across the country.



    That does make sense. Do you know if the premiums will be equivalent regardless of where you apply them? Or is it one of those "$500 credit toward purchase of a public plan or $250 toward purchase elsewhere" type things?

    I originally thinking exactly that with regard to just eliminating the restrictions of selling across state lines, but then it was pointed out to me that the insurance companies would just pool in whatever state had the loosest regulations and consumers would be worse off instead of better (similar to what happened with credit card companies, and Delaware (and South Dakota? is it? can't remember), for example.

    Your question about will the subsidies for premiums be equivalent regardless of where you apply them is one I have been wondering about lately! I know they are tied to percentage of income spent on premiums in most cases, but I'm not sure what they use as a barometer - any plan you want? or some basic, lowest cost plan? I meant to check a few times and kept putting it off b/c there were basically five plans (2 in Senate and 3 in House), so I figured I'd just wait until it was one in each house. I hope it's tied to a basic plan, b/c if it's a percentage of premium for whatever plan you want, seems like that will encourage subsidies for higher cost plans.

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    Re: CBO: Public option premiums higher than private plans

    Quote Originally Posted by jackalope View Post
    I originally thinking exactly that with regard to just eliminating the restrictions of selling across state lines, but then it was pointed out to me that the insurance companies would just pool in whatever state had the loosest regulations and consumers would be worse off instead of better (similar to what happened with credit card companies, and Delaware (and South Dakota? is it? can't remember), for example.
    I feel like there has to be some way to get around this problem. Imagine this proposal: The federal government allows insurance companies to compete across state lines, but instead of only being subject to state regulations, insurance companies that want to compete nationally have to agree to abide by a uniform set of federal regulations. Insurers would have the option of staying in the individual states they're in now and keeping their current rules, but could choose to accept the additional regulation and compete nationally if they would prefer to do so.

    This isn't particularly well developed and there are probably some problems with it that I'm missing, but it seems like it would go a long way toward addressing this issue.

    Your question about will the subsidies for premiums be equivalent regardless of where you apply them is one I have been wondering about lately! I know they are tied to percentage of income spent on premiums in most cases, but I'm not sure what they use as a barometer - any plan you want? or some basic, lowest cost plan? I meant to check a few times and kept putting it off b/c there were basically five plans (2 in Senate and 3 in House), so I figured I'd just wait until it was one in each house. I hope it's tied to a basic plan, b/c if it's a percentage of premium for whatever plan you want, seems like that will encourage subsidies for higher cost plans.
    Agreed. I haven't been getting particularly excited or riled about any individual proposal yet, because the final will is unlikely to resemble anything we've seen so far.
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    Re: CBO: Public option premiums higher than private plans

    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    I feel like there has to be some way to get around this problem. Imagine this proposal: The federal government allows insurance companies to compete across state lines, but instead of only being subject to state regulations, insurance companies that want to compete nationally have to agree to abide by a uniform set of federal regulations. Insurers would have the option of staying in the individual states they're in now and keeping their current rules, but could choose to accept the additional regulation and compete nationally if they would prefer to do so.

    This isn't particularly well developed and there are probably some problems with it that I'm missing, but it seems like it would go a long way toward addressing this issue.
    Something like that would work. Wyden with his choices amendment attempts to address this, in some manner, I believe. Well, the exchanges are supposed to address this, but they are currently being limited, in terms of access, to very few people.

    Something like you said, or something like Wyden talks about, both seem like good ideas.




    Quote Originally Posted by RightinNYC View Post
    Agreed. I haven't been getting particularly excited or riled about any individual proposal yet, because the final will is unlikely to resemble anything we've seen so far.

    Very true....

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