Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Health Care Cooperatives The Only Thing Acceptable in Baucus bill

(click on above link for video about health care coop's)

Well the much awaited Baucus Bill has finally emerged from committee and is probably dead on arrival. This turkey is nothing but a lot of taxes,regulations, and pork. There is however one part of the proposal that-I believe- has merit, the health care cooperative provision.

Other conservatives have claimed that Health Care Cooperatives are a backdoor way of bringing in a public option but I'm not so sure. I am a member of a rural electric cooperative and it is independent of the government and owned by it's members. I am even payed a dividend by my cooperative at the end of the year.

Many try to use REC's as a poster child for not having HCC's. They make false arguments such as REC's are government subsidized. This is not true. Granted they receive tax breaks and low interest loans, but invester owned utilities get tax breaks from the government as well. In fact most investor owned utilities gather money from consumers to pay federal taxes that these utilities often times are not required to pay to the government however they still get to keep the money. See this web site for more info.

In fact the dollars they collect to cover taxes they never pay is around 60Billion per year. This eclipses the estimated amount of loans and grantes REC's receive which is around 83 million dollars.

Electric cooperatives provide energy at lower prices than Investor owned utilities and do so while providing better service. And in case you're wondering no I don't work for the cooperatives

If we can achieve the level of success with health care cooperatives, that we have with electric cooperatives, then HCC's may well be an important component to real heath care reform.

The way I see it instead of being something to fear they may well be something worth trying. Hey if they don't work they won't survive.