Government-purchased health plan may be better than public option


OK, maybe I'm missing something here, but please, tell me what's wrong with the idea of having the federal Office of Personnel Management buy insurance--wielding a giant member pool--to get results comparable to what government employees get?

Isn't this a far more effective way to buy health insurance than going through an amorphous "public option" lacking the internal controls and history of an agency already tasked with buying policies for millions of employees?

To me, it breaks down like this:

* Public option: Lets the foxes (insurance companies) set many of the rules, offers many opportunities to "game" the system, hard to define, likely to vary greatly from state to state

* Centrally-controlled purchasing through OPM: Follows strict protocols, has a model in place (government employee coverage) which seems to work well already, relatively transparent benefit structure and spending

Yes, I know there are those who think the government can't do anything right, so for them this is right out. But unless you're in that camp, I'd argue that using the OPM for central public healthcare purchasing just makes sense. How about you? - Anne

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