Here’s my answer to today’s “Big Question” on The Hill’s Congress Blog:
Now that the “public option” is dead, both the Left and the Right should be able to agree: the Senate bill is nothing but a $450 billion bailout of the private insurance companies.
In fact, the bailout may be several multiples of that figure.
That $450 billion just represents checks that the Treasury would write to private insurance companies. The Reid bill would also force nearly every U.S. citizen to fork over cash to the private insurance companies — no matter how lousy a deal they offer. A recent CBO memo reveals that Reid has been meticulously working behind closed doors to conceal the full cost of his private-insurer bailout.
The Left and the Right should insist that Reid produce a complete CBO score that reveals the full cost of his bill’s private-insurer bailout — in particular, the cost of the individual and employer mandates.
Left-wing Democrats will follow their own consciences when deciding how to vote. But they should force Reid to be honest about what he’s asking them to swallow.