CBO says that Baucus’ co-ops won’t work

That’s a rather huge story that got buried today:

Amid the coverage of the boost the CBO’s scoring (.pdf) gave to Max Baucus’s bill yesterday, an element of the CBO report appears to have gone mostly unnoticed, a wonky friend points out: The report paints co-ops — the leading alternative to a true public option — as basically irrelevant to the plan’s cost.

The co-ops are dealt with, in fact, in a passing parenthetical remark:

(The proposed co-ops had very little effect on the estimates of total enrollment in the exchanges or federal costs because, as they are described in the specifications, they seem unlikely to establish a significant market presence in many areas of the country or to noticeably affect federal subsi

dy payments.)The CBO confirms what liberal co-op critics have charged: That they will neither cover many people nor put downward pressure on costs, the two supposed benefits of the public option.

This is the alternative to the public option, we keep being told. Now the experts are telling us that co-ops won’t achieve what they’re supposed to. So they’re not an acceptable alternative to the president’s campaign promises at all. They’re apparently a lot of nothing.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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