Monday, April 11, 2011

It's Fantastic, It Works, And... You Can't Have It!

People who oppose the Affordable Care Act, and health insurance in general, nonetheless seem apt to praise the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program:
In all the Ryan proposals, enrollees in the new regime would use the government's contribution to shop from a broad array of private insurance plans offered by a Medicare exchange. That system is modeled on the highly successful Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, where government workers choose from a wide variety of offerings, from deluxe fee-for-service plans to basic high-deductible programs.
It's real, it's currently in effect, it's (supposedly) a model for Paul Ryan's privatization of Medicare, it's "highly successful" even by the measure of a Paul Ryan fan. And as you recall, Darrell Issa and Jack Kingston have proposed opening the doors and letting everybody in American join this "highly successful" program.

But do you see even the slightest movement by anybody in the Republican Party to put those words into action? Of course not.


  1. . . . it works pretty well (the premiums are still high and rising . . . ) but it is currently limited to people of a certain age who were "already healthy enough to get a job" before they became eligible for the system.

    I'm inclined to think that if you threw open the door to everyone, the rates would jump.


  2. I covered that concern when I first discussed the Kingston/Issa proposal,

    "If you recall, John Kerry proposed something similar in 2004, but his formal proposal involved creating a parallel pool comparable to the federal employees' insurance program rather than in fact allowing the nation's unwashed masses into the federal pool. I expect this was because somebody told him what would happen to the group rates available in the federal pool if, in fact, any American with a pre-existing health condition were allowed to buy in and get immediate, full coverage."

    I don't agree with the suggestion that the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program would be a magic cure, but if a Republican operative wants to take that position I'm more than happy to run with it.


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