Did you know there’s a sure-fire way to reduce the deficit? There really is, and it has nothing to do with the smoke and mirrors of Republican policy. It’s called the public option, the healthcare proposal that was negotiated away before negotiations over healthcare reform even began.
In an analysis of the public option proposal in 2011, the Congressional Budget Office found that the savings under the public option were sizable:
The original House bill required the public plan to pay providers 5 percent more than Medicare reimbursement rates. But as part of a package of concessions to Blue Dogs, the House Energy and Commerce Committee accepted an amendment that requires the HHS Secretary to negotiate rates with providers. That version of the plan will save only $25 billion.
In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates.
Well, it’s now being reintroduced as the Public Option Deficit Reduction Act, or HR 261, in the House by Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and has been co-sponsored by 44 Democratic lawmakers. The bill doesn’t have a chance in hell of passing, but it does highlight the two-faced hypocrisy of the GOP who swear that reducing the debt and the deficit is their number one priority — you know, when they’re not going after the country’s collective uterus or trying to blow the economy to kingdom come.
But if you believe that particular line of crap, I’ve got a piece of swampland to sell you.
Schakowsky appeared on The Ed Show on MSNBC on Wednesday to discuss the bill and the savings it would provide:
“The estimate is that it’s actually $104 billion dollars over ten years. It saves the government money in terms of the subsidies in the exchanges. This would be one option that Americans could choose. The cost would be 5-7% less, and it would be an anchor pulling down, because of competition, the cost of the private sector plans as well. It is a win-win as you said for small businesses, for consumers, and for American taxpayers. It would bring the deficit down – now don’t you think that this would be something that the Republicans would want to embrace? And yet it seems as if, when it comes to maybe taking a penny away from private insurance companies, that’s not the kind of deficit reduction they want.”
WATCH Rep. Schakowsy’s appearance on MSNBC: