Hospital Corridor.jpgThe Wall Street Journal points out that an amendment authored by one of my favorite senators, Tom Coburn (R-OK), that would “require all Members and their staffs to enroll in any new government-run health plan” barely made it. There were 12 who voted for it, 11 against it.

All were Democrats, except the socialist from Vermont, Bernie Sanders and Republican Judd Gregg, who said “the public option ‘will be so bad that I don’t think anyone should be forced to join.’”

Of course, they also qualify now for generous Congressional coverage. Most Americans won’t have the same choice. Some will be transferred to the new entitlement as it uses its taxpayer bankroll to dominate insurance markets. Others work for businesses that will find it easier to dump their policies and move employees to the federal rolls. Democrats also know that the public option will try to control health spending by squeezing payments made to doctors and hospitals, and by not paying for treatments that Washington decides are too expensive, which will result in inferior care.

No doubt Mr. Dodd acceded to the Coburn amendment to blunt such objections, and in any case he’ll strip it out later in some backroom.

I was listening to Mark Levin last week when a caller from Missouri said she called Sen. Claire McCaskill’s office to find out if she would be using the public option. She was told by an aide that would be a personal choice for Sen. McCaskill. Would that it were that easy for us.

The Heritage Foundation has some grim data on the results of this boondoggle. Bottom line: You Will Lose Your Current Insurance. Period. End of Story.

Here’s the truth, brand-new analysis(pdf) from The Heritage Foundation — conducted by The Lewin Group— shows that the public plan component within the House Democrats’ health reform bill is in conflict with how the Congress and the President are selling their reform plan.

“If you like your health plan, you can keep it, the only thing that will change is that you’ll pay less.” Remember that? Well, according to the new Lewin study:

  • Approximately 103 million people would be covered under the new public plan and as a consequence about 83.4 million people would lose their private insurance. This would represent a 48.4 percent reduction in the number of people with private coverage.
  • About 88.1 million workers would see their current private, employer-sponsored health plan go away and would be shifted to the public plan.
  • Yearly premiums for the typical American with private coverage could go up by as much as $460 per privately insured person, as a result of increased cost-shifting stemming from a public plan modeled on Medicare.