Opting Out

Burnt Orange Report:

Apparently, the opt-out will require a 2/3 vote of the state
legislature, with the governor able to veto an opt-out. We don’t have a
link for this yet, but that’s what folks close to the process are
suggesting toBurnt Orange Report.

Under this scenario, Texans would be able to participate in the
public option (if they qualify) in 2013. Legislatures would then have
to intentionally deny their constituents insurance by opting them out
of the public option.

Importantly, statesCANNOT opt out of the
consumer reforms that will lower costs, prevent rescission, and stop
insurers from denying you coverage for a pre-existing condition. These
reforms are huge in making the insurance companies work harder to
provide care, rather than just pile up profits.

Other questions that need to be resolved as we work through the sausage-making process:

  • As governorships and legislative control pass between the two parties, can states opt out later on?
  • Can a state opt in if it previously opted out?
  • Are there different processes for states with unicameral and/or bicameral legislatures?
  • Can states pro-actively pass legislation to opt out before 2014?

The question being, should the opt-out survive into the final bill, exactly how many Republican state legislators and governors and two-bit moron politicians are willing to throw their constituents’ lives away to make two-bit moron points on the two-bit moron news? And how many of their constituents are willing to throw their own kids’ lives away so they can go to tea parties and scream about socialism? You wanna bet on the ability of backwards-looking people to cut their own feet off just so they can keep bitching about how hard it is to walk? You wanna bet against that?

A.

11 thoughts on “Opting Out

  1. Robert Earle says:

    I’m totally OK with the idea that the Federal Government can pass a health care law and put in an ‘opt out’ provision for the states, and do so constitutionally.
    But can the Federal Government dictate *how* a given state chooses to execute their opt-out decision? Is there any sort of precedent for that?

  2. dan mcenroe says:

    Are those rhetorical questions, A?

  3. joejoejoe says:

    A 2/3 vote in both houses is amazingly hard to attain. As an example, 52 of 124 members of the South Carolina House are Democrats, or 42%. I’m happily stunned that the opt-out requires a 2/3 majority and not a simple majority.

  4. marc sobel says:

    Why that makes it as difficult as raising taxes in California. Why oh why can’t we make it easier to allow people to die in poverty while preserving the wealthy.

  5. When Saskatchewan introduced Medicare in 1964, the was a huge uproar, the American Medical Association said we were all communists and that all our doctors would quit, we had a three-week doctors strike, a baby died of menningitis, there were marches on the capital city, it looked like a disaster.
    But within three years, every province in the country also had Medicare, because Canadian citizens simply demanded it — any political party that didn’t support Medicare had no chance of winning an election anywhere in Canada ever again.
    In the States, I believe that once people have the public option, they will never go back, and any government that tries to rescind it will be tossed from office at the speed of light.

  6. leinie says:

    I’m having lots of problems with HCR, and I know, sausage making, but if they can opt out of the public option, can I opt out of the mandate forcing me to have insurance? Because opting out of the piece that might force insurance companies to be competitive should accompany opting out of the piece that forces me to buy their shitty product.
    Yes, I know, risk pools, etc.
    They should have listened to Ted. Medicare for all.
    But I agree with Cathie, I think that once the public option is in place, they’re going to have a hard time opting out of it, even as they scream about socialism while they throw teabags. It’ll be like abortion – they’ll be really opposed to it, until they need it, and when it comes time to vote, most people will say, hmm, we need to keep this around.

  7. RAM says:

    The REAL problem is whether Harry Reid can count to 60. I think the jury is out-—way out-—on that. The guy is incompetent and seems constantly befuddled about the procedural process of the Senate, so I’m not at all sure he’s got the votes he says he does.

  8. hoppy says:

    I agree with Leinie – a state that opts out of the public option absolutely has to also opt out of the mandatory insurance provision. The two cannot be separated. Harry Reid will listen to me if I get around to emailing him, I’m sure.

  9. virgotex says:

    good luck with that hoppy.
    I believe when Medicare was first enacted in the US, there was an opt out for states and not one took it.
    Goodhair will of course strongly oppose and do anything he can to avoid the state having it. He’s not stupid but he is opportunistic and evil. Just ask the state’s unemployed, poor, and uninsured.

  10. MapleStreet says:

    As I live in Missouri, I am extremely sensitive to the possibility that an Opt-out could subvert my ability to get national health insurance.

  11. pansypoo says:

    inch by inch, step by step.

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