Not-for-profit co-ops may replace public option in health care reform

The Associated Press has a good summary of the political landscape on healthcare reform today.

During the 1993 Clinton Health Care debates, co-ops were floated as an option. While this may seem like a compromise, such co-ops are not a panacea. I might support them if the amount of administrative costs were capped and they were not allowed to lobby legislators (think about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac).

Such an option could get us closer to public health clinics where health care would be free or dramatically low in cost. Co-ops should be open to such an arrangement since such care can be coordinated well and the incentive is good care and not profit margin.

However, I maintain that unless tort reform is on the table, it matters little whether we have non-profits or insurance companies or the government. Physicians will still practice defensively and run up costs. Don’t hear me say tort reform will fix the system but without it, I doubt the current fixes will help as much.

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