Dodd, Mikulski and Brown Ask to be Added to Coburn Public Option Amendment
From The Hill, Brown calling their bluff:
Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and David Vitter (R-La.) are preparing an amendment to force members of Congress into any public option health plan that becomes law, frustrating at least one Senate Democrat who wants to join the effort.
From the Senate floor, Sen. Dodd tells you what he, Sen. Sherod Brown and Sen. Barbara Mikulski think about it:
Quite a while back (after summer recess), Congressman Chris Murphy looked to bring the same kind of amendment to the House after hearing a common complaint from constituents, left and right alike: "If the Public Option is so good, why aren't you going to be in it?" An early September release from CT-05 Rep. Chris Murphy:
Murphy Calls for All Members of Congress to Purchase Health Insurance in Health Reform Bill's New Exchange
NEW BRITAIN - After hosting public events in Waterbury, Danbury and
Washington, Connecticut over the last two days, Congressman Chris
Murphy (CT-5) is announcing today that he is returning to Washington,
D.C. next week to call on Members of Congress to purchase their own
health insurance on the health insurance exchange. America's Affordable
Health Choices Act, the House version of the health care reform bill,
will make changes to our current health care system so that more people
can afford health insurance and increase choice through a health
insurance exchange, which would force private plans to compete with
each other and a government sponsored plan.
"For people and businesses that choose to go into the exchange, they
will have access to better and cheaper coverage than they have today.
There is no reason why Members of Congress shouldn't go into the
exchange and choose between the public option and private plans like
everyone else," said Murphy.
Murphy wants Members of Congress to be treated like employees of very
small businesses are under the House reform bill. The bill states that
in the first year of the law, employers with 10 or fewer employees will
be able to have their employees purchase health insurance on an
individual basis through the exchange. The employer would pick up the
cost of, for an individual plan, 72.5% of the applicable premium and
for a family plan, 65% of the applicable premium.
America's Affordable Health Choices Act also makes health insurance
more affordable by providing tax credits to individuals and businesses
to purchase it. While many people in Connecticut have health insurance
that they like, premiums are going up and up. This summer,
Connecticut's biggest insurer announced that it was increasing rates
for individuals by over 30%. And a recent report found that 48,000
state residents, or 310 a week, will lose their health insurance before
the end of next year because of increasing costs or other circumstances.
"We've got to act to bring down the cost of health care for people in
Connecticut. If we are going to enact health care reform that the
American people believe in, then Members of Congress aren't just going
to have to talk the talk, we are going to have to walk the walk. I
believe the health insurance exchange will be a good deal for people in
Connecticut, and I am willing to place my own health care coverage
needs in it to prove my faith in this effort," said Murphy.
I'm for it since it makes some sense. If it were "Everybody in, and nobody out" and Medicare I would be all for it because that makes even more sense.