Thursday, August 20, 2009

Healthcare Co-Ops-- a Real Alternative?

The LATimes reports that congressional Democrats and Republicans are already sparring over an alternative to government-run insurance -- a series of private regional cooperatives that advocates say could achieve the goals of a public plan without the potential for government interference.

One of the six -- Democrat Kent Conrad of North Dakota -- is the leading Senate proponent of co-ops. He and others point to cooperatives in Seattle and Minnesota that employ doctors and own their own healthcare facilities, giving them more control over costs and the quality of care. Conrad says that under his plan, the federal government would play no role in managing the co-ops, but would only provide seed money to help them get started.

It seems that under this plan, some could choose their healthcare just like they choose a new apartment. But what about regulation of fees and fights over which doctors to choose for their co-op?

Healthcare co-ops emerging as viable alternative

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