While I suspect that NRO readers are inherently incapable of being bamboozled so easily, it’s still worth emphasizing that all this new talk of health-insurance “cooperatives” taking the place of a government-run insurance scheme within Obamacare is a bunch of hooey. If a federal law creates a bunch of new entities, financed with federal taxes and subjected to federal rules, and likely overseen by political appointees, calling them “cooperatives” will not change their essential nature.
The bill will still constitute a massive increase in government control over health care.
In this Kansas City Star piece, the Cato Institute’s Michael Cannon gets to the heart of the matter:
The co-ops would be owned by its members, not the government, and eventually be run by a member-appointed board.
The government, however, would set up the co-ops, and taxpayers would provide the initial seed money, thought to be $3 billion to $6 billion.
Co-ops also would have to follow government-established rules for coverage, cash reserves, availability and perhaps premiums. As a result, many conservatives argue that co-ops are just another name for government-run health care.
“They’re trying to deceive their way to health care reform,” said Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute, a think tank. “I’m not saying they’re lying … (but) they are not promoting choice and competition” in health insurance by suggesting co-ops as an option.