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July 31st, 2009
02:52 PM ET

Health Insurance Co-ops

Both congressional democrats and republicans are exploring health insurance co-ops as an alternative to a government run health care plan. What exactly is a co-op? What do you need to start one? CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen has the details.

Filed under: Tony Harris
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Larry

    Insurance co-ops sound like a Ponzi scheme.

    July 31, 2009 at 3:10 pm |
  2. Tiffany

    This gov't insurance is a good idea. But what area do the farmers play in this entire plan. Farmers now do not make enough to pay their emplyees, and have to send their spouses out to work just so they can have some sort of health insurance.

    July 31, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  3. Lowell

    How's this for good health care? I have an Auto Immune disease for which I've been treated for 8 years. Everything went fine at first, then after a year the Rx stopped providing relief. After that, new Rx's would work for 2 to 6 weeks then lose it's effectiveness. In desperation I went to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. A few more Rx failures, then one morning I woke up and could not move. Called 911 and was transported to the local Hospital. No cause was found. Crtical again, my Dr. at Mayo (150 miles away) phoned a local Dr. and the two of them arranged for an emergency infusion at a local Critical Care facility. My Mayo doctor began calling me every day (twice some days, including a Sunday afternoon). He even gave me his home phone number. He was adjusting meds "on the fly", and eventually found a medication that has been performing perfectly for over 1 year. You know what all this personal attention cost me and my insurance? Nothing, zero, not a penny. Perhaps if more health care providers took this type of interest and responsibility to their patients we wouldn't need trillion dollar health care plans.

    July 31, 2009 at 9:55 pm |
  4. Rodney Hytonen

    The public has seen through this farce and overwhelmingly called for a Single Payer Option – as acknowledged by Nancy Pelosi and the Progressive Democrats in the House.

    I believe it's the realization of Industry Lobbying Dollars having actually overpowered and dominated the Senate Finance Committee, that broke the Camel's back. The portents there are truly frightening regarding the ethics of our government.

    "Co-ops" – like "Gateways," "Exchanges," and "Trigger," are nothing more or less than an attempt by Big Insurance to forestall a National Health Care plan.

    They would eliminate any economy of scale, and as proven in MA and VT, are very easy to corrupt, monopolize, and bankrupt; using the current Insurance Industry's National M.O. to keep premiums high.

    Only a Single Payer Option – I said, "Option"- as in France, will provide the economy of scale, and totally nonprofit elements, absolutely necessary for true cost reduction. France and many others prove that the nation's Insurance Industry can even survive a National Health Care System with a Single Payer Option.

    Regardless of the size of the "Pool," no for-profit providers will ever negotiate anything like the drastic premium and policy reductions desperately needed in this overpriced and obsolete Industry.

    No businessman will negotiate himself out of business – or even out of a penny of profit.

    August 1, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  5. Mrs. Eileen G. Curras widow to Hernandez (WWII)

    America needs Health Care Reform. It seems that there is a lack of information. It seems that congressional democrats and republicans are exploring health insurance co-ops as we are. It seems that we will be without health care plan for some time to come. Who starts a co-op and what do you need to start one? Where do you go to start one?

    August 1, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  6. JR

    Co-op?? Seems like it is largely unworkable in that it needs THOUSANDS of members to be individually affordable. Would like to see some comparison of cost between 'single payer' and 'co-op' for the individual taxpayer.

    August 2, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  7. Jay in Camden

    I'm glad to see our political muscle still is good for something. The two gilrs are happy to be home with thier familes and that is awesome! Although, I sitll have questions about the whole story. #1- Did the girls illegally enter the country in the first place? #2- Did Current TV know of thier actions and do nothing to prevent thier movements? #3- If they did enter illegally, was thier arrest legitimate and therfore thier sentences proper? #4- Is this considered negotiating with a terroist state? Please be the only news channel that accually gets the facts, I really want to know. I'm all for the feel good story of the week but I watch CNN for my news and Oxygen for my fellings. Thanks Big Brother Tony!!!

    August 5, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  8. Doug

    Larry July 31st, 2009 3:10 pm ET

    Insurance co-ops sound like a Ponzi scheme.

    If they are then they can Hire Bernie to run them from prison. Pay him his daily prison wage and let him at them. By the time the government gets a clue it will be on the verge of collapse. The feds will just look the other way.

    August 5, 2009 at 5:59 pm |
  9. Hery

    Co ops?
    Health insurance in my country still easy..
    Outcome i don't understand..
    But thank's for sharing..
    Please your visit in my blog..

    August 9, 2009 at 5:41 am |
  10. Gemstone

    I have a bi-polar child. Some of the medications can cost 800.00 per month and medicaid does not pay for them. Do we really want to have a system where people who needs this kind of medication are unable to get it? Will the new system make sure my child can get this medication?

    August 11, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  11. Alan Simpson

    Health care co ops NO.Who's going to benefit? Americans from the wealthy to the poor? I don't think so.It's just anouther way to exploit Americans.


    August 13, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  12. Dan

    I am a retired military officer and that means I have "public" healthcare namely "tri-care prime". I pray that the public option remains part of health care reform. I am concerned that the co-op is not the solution but it could be another viable option. This does not mean that the public option should be dropped. My concern with co-ops is that the lack of regulation will lead to the abuse we see with what is currently going on. I live in Georagia and I see utility company co-ops that do not work well at all. They drop subscribers at will. This is no solution. I wish we "Americans" would get over our selfishness and be concerned about all "Americans". After all this is one reason I served my country.

    August 17, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  13. medigap

    Underwriting may be an issue in other states, but Californians have an added benefit not available elsewhere. You may want to check this out

    February 1, 2010 at 4:45 pm |