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Mole's Progressive Democrat

The Progressive Democrat Newsletter grew out of the frustration of the 2004 election. Originally intended for New York City progressives, its readership is now national. For anyone who wants to be alerted by email whenever this newsletter is updated (usually weekly), please send your email address and let me know what state you live in (so I can keep track of my readership).

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I am a research biologist in NYC. Married with two kids living in Brooklyn.

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  • Thursday, September 24, 2009

    Nevada: Public Option Model that SAVES Money

    This is from Daily Kos and it shows us what the advantages to the public option are:

    For the 2009 Plan Year, 7/08-7/09, the annual average state health insurance premium for the State of NV self-funded public employee’s benefits plan was $8,169.40 (Source: State of NV, PEBP Utilization Report, Sept. 2009). During this benefits period, 16780 active state employees paid from their salary (pre-tax dollars) on average $832.44 ($44.37/month); the State of NV as employer subsidized the balance...

    The annual national average cost for "employer-based health care costs" in the US, according to the Business Roundtable’s recent Health Care Reform report, is $10,743...

    State of NV PEBP participants pay 76.5% of the national average. If it is possible to extrapolate national savings for a self-insured, single-payer public option, we could expect to reduce health insurance premium costs for employed participants by 23.5%. Lest you believe, dear reader, that plan participants receive "junk insurance" for such a reduced cost, let me introduce you to the private individual participants in the PEBP insurance plan...

    The real take-away from this exercise, IMHO, is that large-pool, self-insured, single-payer insurance dramatically cuts premium costs. The State of NV PEBP plan averaged 17,477 active (employed) participants for the 2009 Plan Year. This figure represents and exerts strong bargaining power to reduce health care costs in the form of plan payments to health care service provider participants; the public option thus produces heavy downward pressure on the cost of medical fees for service, too. The "actual" health care service costs and plan discounts reported by provider participants may make the situation look as if providers are barely scraping by, but the fact of the matter is that these statements of so-called actual costs are inflated to provide bargaining chips in future negotiations with the plan. Clearly, if the plan’s payments to providers were not economically viable for them, then providers would refuse to continue with the plan. The fact that our preferred provider list remains robust, offering the choice of thousands of primary care doctors and specialists and a wide array of lab, testing, hospital, and other medical support services, shows the viability of NV’s public option and implies the feasibility of a similarly constructed national public option.


    Nevada is not a hot bed of leftist radicalism. It is a no nonsense state. And they are already using the public option and saving money with it. The Federal Government needs to take advange of the same savings using the same methods.

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