The health care debate has been rough.
I mean, this issue was too easy to make so hard. Barack Obama campaigned on reform, we saw a lack of organization on the White House part during the summer; we had to deal with the lies and misconceptions of the insurance industry and the GOP over the summer; we had to endure a possible "trigger option" for the sake of a "lovey-dovey" bipartisan bill, which would not be a bipartisan bill; only to have Harry Reid finally deliver. White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs statement on the merger of the bills:
The President congratulates Senator Reid and Chairmen Baucus and Dodd for their hard work on health insurance reform. Thanks to their efforts, we're closer than we've ever been to solving this decades-old problem. And while much work remains, the President is pleased that at the progress that Congress has made. He's also pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out. As he said to Congress and the nation in September, he supports the public option because it has the potential to play an essential role in holding insurance companies accountable through choice and competition.
There will be a public option in the final senate bill, the trigger option is deader than a box of rocks, this means the White House lovey-dovey possible "trigger" with Senator Olympia Snowe is no more, and people can exhale.
A train of thought here. I am worried about our red state folks. Why? Because we don't know how the decision will be made for a state to "opt out", meaning saying no to the public option and allowing the status quo to remain the same. But one good thing is this, how can a governor of a state explain to his constituents that opting out is good for the state? That no competition for rates in their state is good for the constituents of the state? That continuing to allow ONE INSURANCE COMPANY to dominate a state is a good thing? That is a hard sell and I don't care what side of the aisle you sit on, everyone wants good coverage at cheaper, affordable rates.
Majority Leader Harry Reid says health care legislation headed to the Senate floor will include an option for government-run insurance.
Reid says states will have the prerogative of opting out of the program if they choose.
Reid noted that polls show widespread public support for giving the government a role in the overhauled health care system envisioned by President Barack Obama and his allies in Congress.
Meantime, the head of the AFL-CIO said Monday he's willing to consider a tax on high-end health insurance plans to help pay for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, as long as middle-class workers aren't hurt.
The comments by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka indicated new flexibility on the issue from a powerful Democratic constituency as House and Senate leaders scramble to finalize sweeping health care legislation. Trumka last month dismissed the proposed insurance plan tax as "outrageous."
The tax is the Senate's preferred method to pay for covering the uninsured, but labor leaders have worried their workers would be affected even though lawmakers were aiming the proposed tax at insurance plans offering the richest benefits — what Obama has called "Cadillac" plans.
"If you show me a definition of a Cadillac plan that hits the Cadillac plans and not the middle class, then we'd take a look at that, of course," Trumka told reporters on a conference call. "If you wanted to tax the Goldman Sachs plans, I think that's fine," he said.
Trumka declined to say at what level he could support the tax. read more here....
Additional information is here and more information on "opt out" is here.