Friday, February 15, 2008

Haley Barbour or Hillary Clinton?

Here's a test.

Who just proposed the following, Hillary Clinton or Haley Barbour:
  • A government authorized health insurance purchasing exchange program for the purpose of marketing health insurance
  • Run as a not-for-profit clearing house from which consumers could purchase health insurance
  • Target the uninsured
  • Available to workers in small businesses
  • Designed to reduce the overhead costs of small group health insurance policies
  • Policies would be portable
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, and the former Republican National Chairman, just made this proposal in his state and Mississippi lawmakers are starting work on it.

Senator Clinton, as part of her 2008 health care reform plan, has proposed a "Health Choices Menu" which would provide people an optional FEHBP-like menu of private health plan choices. She would use the purchasing power of the many to improve the options and prices in the plan. Mrs. Clinton's plan would also set a very high minimum benefit requirement. Obama has a similar idea.

Senator McCain, apparently to the more conservative side of all of the above, has no such government insurance exchange idea. McCain would encourage trade association health plans.

It's certainly likely that Barbour's plan would be more market oriented than regulated and mandate-heavy but the broad overview of both approaches is strikingly similar.

One small place for both sides to begin to work together?
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