5:56 am August 17, 2009, by Henry Unger
There’s been a major development on health care reform.
The Obama administration signaled Sunday that it is willing to embrace insurance cooperatives over a government-run plan, the Associated Press reports.
The move attempts to deal with mounting criticism of President Obama’s reform effort by offering political cover to fiscally conservative Democrats who have opposed the option of government-run insurance.
The shift also leaves open a chance for compromise with Republicans. But that could enrage Obama’s liberal supporters who believe the government option is the best way to keep insurance companies in check.
Under a proposal by Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., consumer-owned nonprofit cooperatives would sell insurance in competition with private industry.
With $3 billion to $4 billion in initial support from the government, the co-ops would operate under a national structure with state affiliates, but independent of the government, AP reports.
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