WASHINGTON–Senate Democrats appear on the verge of dropping a scaled-backed public plan that would make people 55 to 64 without healthcare coverage eligible for Medicare.
Among other provisions, the plan would have allowed people without healthcare coverage access to the insurance plan for federal employees. That plan would have been administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management, which runs the federal plan.
That decision was regarded as a good one by John Greene, vice president of congressional affairs for the National Association of Health Underwriters. He said the public option is being misrepresented and would be an administrative nightmare.
He described the component of the plan that would provide access to the insurance plan for federal employees as an “employer plan with a single entry and exit point designed for a specific pool of individuals and not solely for the purpose of gaining insurance coverage.”
He called it “frustrating” to see reports that ignore this distinction.
“The federal government provides significant assistance with the premium and the rate increases have occurred despite their size,” he explained.
Greene said that allowing people to buy into the federal program would be “an administrative nightmare.” Separating employees of the federal government from everyone else would “add significant administrative burdens and for a purpose not associated with employment in the government.”
The Democrats appeared to back off from the public option during a Monday night caucus. They faced public opposition from Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and concern by moderate Democrats.