With several Senator’s, most notably, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) saying they will not vote for the Harry Reid (D-Nev.) version of Obamacare if it contains the public option, Democrats are now scrambling to come up with a compromise.
One proposal, advanced by Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), would provide that the public option would only be “triggered” (i.e., put in place automatically) if the insurance exchanges don’t reduce premiums and expand the number of insureds.
The problem with this proposal is that Obamacare’s provisions make it a certainty that the “trigger” will be pulled. And here is why.
Obamacare guarantees that insurance premiums will rise. Even the Congressional Budget Offices makes that clear when it said,
premiums in the individual market will rise by 10% to 13% more than if Congress did nothing. Family policies under the status quo are projected to cost $13,100 on average, but under ObamaCare will jump to $15,200.
Premiums will rise for three reasons. First, under the Senate bill all people must be issued an insurance policy regardless of their health, without any increase in premiums because of their health. Second, insurance companies and drug and medical device manufacturers will pay will pay $11 billion in increased taxes per year. Third, the federal government will decide what must be in your insurance plan whether you want to pay for that coverage or not.
Each of these requirements will make insurance more unaffordable, and, the more unaffordable it becomes, even with subsidies, the fewer insureds we will have. Besides, since anyone will be able to obtain insurance even as they are being driven to the hospital in an ambulance, there is absolutely no incentive to purchase insurance unless and until it is needed, or to keep it in force for any more time than is needed. Paying the tax for failure to obtain insurance will be far cheaper than paying the premiums.
Bottom line… removing the public option from Obamacare, and putting in its place a “trigger” for the public option is simply an illusion. Obamacare itself ensures the trigger will be pulled.