July 10th, 2009 – Yesterday 40 “Blue Dog” Democrats signed a letter expressing opposition to the current draft of the health insurance reform bill under consideration in Congress. In the letter the conservative Democrats clearly stated that they did not want a government run health plan that would be based on Medicare type rates.
Many people watching the industry see a government run health plan that would pay providers much lower rates than private insurance plans as an open door to a government run single payer system in America. Currently private insurance pays providers a higher rate to subside the lower rates that Medicare pays providers. If the government plan were to force providers to accept lower rates then they could price their plans lower leading to a mass exodus from private insurance to government run insurance.
Medicare is hardly a perfect system and has been plagued by fraud and waste since its inception. According to a Wall Street Journal article, on its current trajectory Medicare expected to be financially insolvent by 2017, .
Democrat Allen Boyd of Florida said, “From a practical standpoint in terms of a timeline, a bill doesn’t come into the House chamber until you got the votes to pass it, and I don’t think they have the votes to pass it at this point. We’ve got to try to get to point where we’re comfortable.