Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Grijalva on Senate Health-Care Reform Package: “We Need a Public Option, Period.”

Posted By on Tue, Dec 8, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Congressman Raul Grijalva isn't happy with what he sees happening with health-care reform over in the U.S. Senate. Today's press release:

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva today declared the widely reported compromises in the emerging Senate health care bill “troubling” and “not even reminiscent of a public option.”

Senate and White House leaders, he said, “have already compromised far too much. At some point in this process, the question became not what was the best policy for the American people, but what could be done to appease a recalcitrant handful who have negotiated in bad faith. We need strong leadership so close to the finish line, not efforts to water down a bill to the breaking point in a misguided attempt to win votes that were never there.”

Grijalva said reports that the Senate is now moving toward the creation of a non-profit board to provide insurance, instead of an authentic public option, should “worry the millions of Americans who are counting on this bill to create affordable insurance and help them enjoy a fair marketplace.” He emphasized that the House has already rejected

such an approach, which essentially mirrors the health co-ops dismissed by most analysts as ineffective.

“A non-public option without government support will not bring down prices, expand coverage or provide competition for private companies,” Grijalva said. “Voters will instantly recognize it as a whitewash of the problem we have spent the better part of this year trying to fix. They would be right to criticize any plan that fails to address their concerns, and they will be doubly right to reject this one.”

Building a national health co-op from scratch would be an “unruly and excessively time-consuming process,” Grijalva said. Such a plan “would forfeit the economic advantages — such as building on Medicare’s provider network — that would make a public insurance program competitive.”

Grijalva added that modeling a plan on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program that exclusively offers private insurance plans, as the Senate is reportedly considering, is not equivalent to a public option. Similarly, lowering the age of Medicare eligibility by five or 10 years “does not create enough private sector competition, which we desperately need to benefit working families,” he said.

“We need a public option, period,” Grijalva said. “I cannot support a system that forces Americans to buy private insurance and then allows those companies to collect government subsidies without competition. Our final health care bill should be based on policy outcomes and the needs of consumers, and the direction the Senate is taking does not give me confidence.”

Tags: ,


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Jim Nintzel

  • Editor's Note

    Heroic Efforts
    • Dec 14, 2017
  • The Skinny

    In Jim Nintzel's last Skinny of 2017, he looks at the just-passed tax bill and the race for McSally's congressional seat.
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • Editor's Note

    We Will Rock You
    • Dec 7, 2017
  • More »
Today | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun
Meditation and Buddhist study

Meditation and Buddhist study @ Sky Island Zen

Tuesdays, Saturdays

All of today's events | Staff Picks

Staff Pick

Festival Band's New Year's Eve Dance

Join us at the Tucson University Park Hotel (formally Marriott) for our NYE Dance! We play Tejano,… More

@ Tucson University Park Hotel Dec. 1-Jan. 1 880 E. 2nd Street

» More Picks

Submit an Event Listing

Popular Content

  1. An Incomplete Look at the Koch Brothers' Influence in Arizona (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  2. Cinema Clips: Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  3. $59 Million Can Focus the Mind, Even If You're Facebook (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  4. Laughing Stock: Holly Jolly Edition (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)
  5. The Weekly List: 22 Things To Do in Tucson This Week (The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch)

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation