Other Good Ideas Nobody is Voting For/Against
Steven Pearlstein in his op-ed makes a fairly dumb classic Washington Post (false) moral equivalence between death panels hysteria on the right and the public option on the left. That said, he makes some interesting points vis a vis ideas that are not in any of the bills currently under review:
To address the pricing power of the big hospital chains, the government could require that they offer the same set of prices to all private insurers. Congress could also toughen antitrust laws to make it more difficult for hospitals in the same region to merge and require the breakup of chains that charge rates that are significantly higher than in other markets. To bring down drug prices, Medicare could cap what it is willing to pay for any drug at 150 percent of the average price paid by other industrialized countries, where governments negotiate prices that are significantly lower. That would become a new benchmark for what private-pharmacy benefit managers would pay.
I don’t really know where I stand re: public option. I thought the Wyden bill was always a better bill. Or Phil Longman’s work on the VA Hospital. So I’m just kind of watching this play out with some detached (both political and geographic) interest.