Washington D.C. — Any national health reform compromise that allows states to adopt ineffective health care "co-ops" should also allow states to adopt highly effective single-payer systems, according to Consumer Watchdog.
According to Politico.com, the new version of the House health care reform legislation developed by the Energy and Commerce Committee will include a provisions allowing state to create co-ops for residents to buy private insurance.
"If Congress is serious about giving states the right to create their own health care systems, states should be allowed and encouraged to adopt broader health care improvements including one that dumps the wasteful health insurance industry," said Jerry Flanagan of Consumer Watchdog. "Co-op health insurance, tried in the past with poor results, will ultimately fall captive to the health insurance industry because such groups lack the strength to effectively bargain with insurers. A single-payer system would allow a state, or multiple states working together, to bypass health insurers altogether, thereby avoiding wasteful insurance company overhead, profit and disparate administrative and billing systems that unnecessarily drive up the cost of care."
Consumer Watchdog said that federal health care reform should guarantee any state a waiver from federal law, such as the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), that currently make it difficult for states to develop single payer systems. An amendment to the House health reform bill, offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), would allow experimentation with state-based single-payer systems.
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Consumer Watchdog is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, D.C. and Santa Monica, CA. Find us on the web at www.ConsumerWatchdog.org