UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

August 18, 2009

HEALTH CO-OP PLAN OFF TO A LOUSY START

NY Times - The White House has indicated that it could accept a nonprofit health care cooperative as an alternative to a new government insurance plan, originally favored by President Obama. But the co-op idea is so ill defined that no one knows exactly what it would look like or how effectively it would compete with commercial insurers. What is certain is that, as a substitute for a government plan, the co-op concept disappoints many liberals and stirs little enthusiasm among insurers or Republican lawmakers. And as the White House signaled its flexibility, a contentious debate over the merits of a public plan versus co-ops began playing out in the Democratic Party. Aides to Mr. Obama tried to tamp down concern on the left by emphasizing that the president still supported the idea of a public plan and had not decided whether to drop it. Some lawmakers said the White House had sent mixed signals, confusing friend and foe alike on Capitol Hill.

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