Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Even Supporters Can't Define 'Co-Op'

NYT tries (h/t Atrios) but even this attempt leaves you with the impression that no one really knows exactly how these magical co-ops will work.

And most states will require 25,000 members, plus shared start up costs to get one going, and still under the thumb of insurance companies as the gatekeepers to this "competition"? Wow. Sign! Me! Up!


  1. I liked this post, Jason. The "co-ops" are merely "cop-outs" on the healthcare debate. Many Americans don't realize that co-ops already exist across the nation, and yet the new, proposed cooperatives would be regulated by the federal government and funded by the federal government. Why is that any more appealing than a public option?

  2. per the article some insurance near monopolies (north dakota blue cross) could qualify as co ops, meaning that residents of north dakota would benefit from this exactly not at all. funny that their senator is a leading force behind them. also the iowa co ops failed after a few years, what would make these any better.

    the reason the right find them more appealing than a public option is they're 'run and owned by members' not the government (the 6 billion would be little more than seed money if they really expect to compete in the health insurance industry). so they're evidently the more free market alternative to injecting competition into a market that is in great need of it. the problem is they won't, and not due to the regulations marc sites, but because no one will join, if they need 500,000 + members to be in a position to competitively negotiate with providers what's the incentive for the first 499,999 members to join? there isn't any, a public option would be competitive from day one, leaving the private insurance companies trying to catch up.