Dr. Fleming "favors a tax credit or a tax deduction, measures that would give patients an incentive to 'watch the pocketbook.' He says he is even open to an individual mandate that would make health insurance compulsory, much like automobile insurance" according to the New York Times.
He explains that he "has seen physicians refuse to take Medicare patients because it compensates poorly, and he fears that doctors would turn away patients on a public plan if it offered inadequate compensation."
In his Resolution, Fleming says:
As a physician, I am amazed at the number of bureaucrats in this House who are quick to claim a government-run health care plan is the reform this country needs. In response to this, I have offered a resolution that will offer members of Congress an opportunity to put their money where their mouth is, and urge their colleagues who vote for legislation creating a government-run health care plan to lead by example and enroll themselves in the same public plan.
Under the current draft of the Democrat healthcare legislation, members of Congress are curiously exempt from the government-run health care option, keeping their existing health plans and services on Capitol Hill. If Members of Congress believe so strongly that government-run health care is the best solution for hard working American families, I think it only fitting that Americans see them lead the way. Public servants should always be accountable and responsible for what they are advocating, and I challenge the American people to demand this from their representatives.Politico reports that "Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma are pushing the same concept in the Senate, preparing separate amendments that would require members — and maybe even their staffs — to sign up for the public option." Newt Gingrich is also promoting it.
The New Republic calls Fleming's resolution a "lame idea":"This is, of course, a rather lame idea: the point of creating a public plan is to make it an option that exists alongside private insurance. This is about expanding choice in health insurance coverage. Nobody would be forced to join the public option."
They are ignoring the obvious fact that private insurance is about to go the way of the dinosaur and that soon enough we'll all be in the public plan. TNR is being naive to suggest that nobody would be forced into Obamacare.
Obamacare will slowly force everyone into the public plan.
This is the way Ed Morrissey explains the shift into the public plan based on the section in the plan that limits new private policies:
You can, as Obama promised, keep your current coverage — as long as it remains available. However, if your employer stops offering health-care benefits, or if you buy it privately and your insurer cancels your plan, you can’t just pick up another private plan. Enrollments will be closed as of the first day the bill becomes law.
That will have the effect of forcing millions of people into the public plan whether they want it or not. Even worse, if insurers get barred from attracting new customers — which this clause outlaws — then they will eventually see their rolls drained, thanks to the natural flow of the market as employers drop plans and skip the expense of offering medical insurance. It won’t take long at all for insurers to exit the market and leave the field for just the public plan, which will automatically get the customers of each individual insurer as they close up shop.Politico reports that Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Tom Coburn of Oklahoma are pushing the same concept in the Senate, preparing separate amendments that would require members — and maybe even their staffs — to sign up for the public option. I'm sticking with Fleming on this one. If it's good enough for the American people, it's good enough for Congress.
Melt the Phones!
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Congressman Fleming: What's Good for the Goose...
(Photo is of Rep. Fleming at our Tax Day Tea Party)