McCain: Public Health Insurance Plan Closer Than Ever
While making the rounds of the Sunday morning talk shows, Republican Senator (and 2008 Presidential candidate) John McCain stated that he believes that some form of a public health insurance plan will be included in the healthcare reform bill. McCain is a staunch opponent of government involvement in health care, but is certain that the Democrats have enough votes to pass some form of a public option in both chambers of Congress. While it’s looked for awhile as if the House of Representatives’ bill would include that government health insurance plan, prospects for such a provision in the Senate appeared doubtful. However, other legislators shared McCain’s confidence that it would gain the 60 votes required to pass; as well as his doubts that Republicans would filibuster the health reform bill.
Still, the plan that ends up in the final bill may not be the comprehensive Canadian or European-style public program that has been receiving all the attention. It’s very likely that the public option included might be subject to a trigger. Such a trigger option would only take effect if the private market fails to perform to certain specifications, as a sort of safety net. These conditions include the failure to insure a certain percentage of states’ populations over a certain time period, or not achieving enough success in reducing costs. That type of coverage from the federal government isn’t as far reaching as what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi desire, but is a health insurance plan that has a better change of passing both houses. McCain speculates that the triggered public option is what will probably be included in the bill, as Democrats were burned from their last attempt to pass sweeping health reform during the Clinton administration.
(Image: marcn under CC 2.0)