Public Option In Doubt: Why You Should Get A Health Insurance Quote Now
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has joined the strong push for a public option in Congress’ healthcare reform bill, but its inclusion is not guaranteed. The provision’s fate is in the hands of moderate Democrats. Despite the ability for individual states to opt out of the government-run health insurance plan, centrist Democrats like Senators Ben Nelson and Max Baucus are still leery of voting for it. You should get a health insurance quote while you wait for the endless wrangling of votes to finish, since garnering 60 Senate votes to pass this bill will no doubt take awhile. The fact that several politicians in the party have received large campaign contributions from the health insurance industry doesn’t help.
Why the delay? The Senate and the House of Representatives have to debate exactly what form the public option will take, and moderates hold its fate in their hands. They need to compromise between comprehensive health coverage and cost. Gaining Republican votes is a lost cause at this point, so party leaders will be forced to exert their power. For example, Reid may try to convince a swing vote with a seat on a prestigious Senate committee–that a Senator will only get if he or she votes with him on healthcare reform. The more liberal House has a more comprehensive public option proposal included in its bill, and it must be combined with the bill in the generally more conservative Senate prior. Afterward, it’ll see even further amendments by the rest of Congress before a final vote. There is also the possibility, albeit less likely, that some liberal politicians will vote against the bill because it doesn’t do enough to reform our health insurance system. However, centrist politicians receive more attention from leaders because they are the wild card. Can you wait for Washington to decide, or would you prefer to be safe and get health insurance quotes from multiple insurers now? If, years from now, you like what the public option shaped up to be better than your existing health insurance plan, you’ll be able to switch–but if you’re caught uninsured before then, you’ll wish you hadn’t waited.