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Obama, GOP's Snowe Work on Health Care Compromise

By John Martin - Posted on 03 September 2009

Good to see at least one Republican working on a common sense solution:

What do you think Olympia Snowe thought when representatives of Maine's small business community told their Senator they opposed a mandate on business to purchase insurance for their employees unless there is a public option? She loses that vote . . . Well, need I say what would happen?

I think Sen. Snowe is one of the more reasonable Republicans (and her state is pretty Moderate) thus Pres. Obama is smart to work with her. The fact that she is debating details and new ideas sure beats those calling Obama a socialist and claiming reform will kill grandma-while ignoring any real issues or proposing ideas. I actually like the premise of what she is suggesting. Give the greedy insurance companies a chance to prove themselves in a small window of time and stick it to them if they can't. If they comply, they will be rewarded with more clients and continued profits (nothing wrong with that as long as all people are covered and we don't see the abuse we've seen.) Maybe there could even be incentives for companies that have a good track record on cost and quality.

If such a system can still provide healthcare for most Americans and control costs and insurance companies are held to the fire (and I mean held to the fire-no loopholes, serious benchmark assessment on a regular basis by a neutral party!) I would support it. If, however, it is loosely organized and insurance companies can skirt around expectations in the name of profit, I would be against it. If the right negotiation balance takes place, Snowe would get her general idea and Obama would put tons of checks and balances in the bill to ensure insurance companies meet the standards in a timely fashion. Following through on the public option trigger if necessary would be vital-no warnings. 

The other positive is that it still leaves the idea of a public option in the bill as a trigger. So all those who have insisted on the public option could still support it without too much slack.

A final positive is that Snowe would probably bring along Collins and all of the Blue Dogs. That's huge.

I hope that this "trigger" plan is a centerpiece of the President's speech next week.

So what will the working poor do for insurance before this fabled "trigger" kicks in? The last Trigger that worked was the one Roy Rogers rode on! And we remember that Trigger got stuffed, too! We need REAL reform, and we need it NOW. If insurers could be trusted to be fair, we wouldn't be here.

And remember any talks with Snowe probably relates only to that committees bill.

Let's see what the final bill looks like and how and if it will help the working poor.

If SOMETHING can pass that will cover more people than are now covered, and that could lower costs for everyone else, that will be better than all the failed proposals from the last few decades.  If SOMETHING doesn't get passed now, I seriously doubt if we'll ever be able to pass anything.


Triggers -- This is no way to write legislation as we could pass something, but it would be a hollow victory because the insurance companies are not going to have to change much. There will be backlash and probably some lawsuits by big insurance just to delay the public option when they don't do a thing to control premiums. I hope Obama will refuse to sign anything that stupid.

Misty-I know you represent many on the left in your cynicism and I really don't blame you. The insurance companies have not been reliable over the years, but then again, when have they ever been held accountable? I almost think, if written in the right way, this could really force the changes we have been begging for within a dysfunctional system.  Please take a deep breath before you judge this. Let's hear what Pres. Obama has to say/listen to the details before we declare it a failure.

As a Republican, I do want to know how any Health Care Bill would impact small business, how many people it would cover, how much this will control costs, how much the plan will cost and how it will be paid for, and finally, does it stand a chance of passing? If the Snowe/Obama negotitations can still lead to my hopes and goals for reform, why wouldn't I support it?

Exactly how many unnecessary American deaths will it take to pull the "trigger"?

I just realized a possible huge pitfall of the trigger proposal--

The left will claim that there's zero chance of the trigger ever being reached; the right will claim that the trigger is a foregone conclusion and just a sneaky way to get the public option through.

I guess I'm just thinking from a business perspective, it would be in their interest to please the customer and prove cost cuts,to not let anybody die. And they'd be getting gov't money to ensure that. Why would they want to screw up an extra 10-30 million customers that could be switched to a public plan?

Again, let's hear the details. Maybe President Obama has something totally different in mind. Who knows? In less than a week, we will know how the Obama brain has been thinking on this. He always seem to surprise.

At least the politicans aren't biting each other fingers off like in sunny California.
The victim in question (who, according to a witness, wasn't exactly guiltless) had his finger reattached under *drumroll* Medicare!

At least saner minds aren't accusing Sen. Snowe of treason...


It's sad that we've reached a point where 'government service' is a dirty word... If we're the greatest country on earth, maybe we can have the greatest government.

Lewis Black

Medicare? ... Priceless

What would force the private insurers (whom we know generally don't give two sh**s about anything or anyone but their bottom line) to agree to insure the uninsured or (heaven forbid) the uninsurable in our country? A public option trigger if they don't show progress on cost cutting, insuring more Americans, and dropping their pre-existing conditions BS? A public option trigger on a plan that won't go into effect for at least several more years anyway?

Methinks that that is just a cop out, pure and simple. It's the insurance companies getting their own way again, at the expense of all Americans, but especially the most vulnerbale ones.

Canada does it. Great Britain does it. The Netherlands does it. France does it. Italy does it. Sweden does it. Germany does it. What's so high and mighty about the United States of America that we can't do it too?

What? Catch words? Socialism? Government-run health care? Death panels? Insurance for illegal aliens? Isn't it about time the purveyors of this senseless BS be put in their place once and for all? Nothing would accomplish that like TRUE reform, and not just insurance-sanctioned window dressing!


BREAKING: Chuck Todd just reported on MSNBC TV that the public option stays

He just wrapped up but reported and I quote "make no mistake President Obama is not walking away from the public option. This will be in the bill." The worst fate that the public option will meet is having a trigger provision but Chuck Todd, MSNBC's chief White House correspondent, just reported that the President is NOT abandoning the public option.

Oh, Thank The Good Lord!   


...Well, for one thing it's easier. When you tell the truth you never have to remember later what you lied about.  - Lwaxana Troi - Star Trek: The Next Generation 5x20 - "Cost of Living

Thanks, Misty. That is good news. He'll fight for the best bill he can get-let's keep our faith on this one!
I don't know-this article (which says Obama may draft his own bill to present) from CNN seems to indicate otherwise.  It tells me the focus is more on controlling the fall-out from liberals with a trigger system, rather than going in the opposite direction. It does not look like he is getting support from liberals/they are not caving so maybe that's a factor. Maybe when Todd mentioned public option certainly being in the bill he was referring to the trigger?

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