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Senator you know I'm reading through the details of your health care bail and -- you know many of your colleagues have put together.
Different variations of -- this -- -- one bill that has a fair amount of Republican support it's based on -- why operated in states.
I'm possibly -- national level.
The number one let's explain to people what this means you don't accounts -- like me unions but you explain how it works and then it let's get into the cough part of the equation.
As you know one of the big controversies here.
Is whether there is a public option that is something that is government control.
As an option to provide competition.
-- for profit insurance companies Republicans and some Democrats don't like that approach -- it is a back door to single Payer where there would be.
Government control of the health care system.
So I was asked to try to come up with a compromise to.
Have some vehicle that would provide competition.
To for profit insurance companies but would not be government control and the idea I came up with was a cooperative structure.
We have many -- -- of them in the country Land O'Lakes well known company that's a cooperative.
It's owned by its members its controlled by its members not by the government.
Our rural electric cooperatives all across America are controlled by -- -- members so that's what.
I have proposed it.
Would provide a nonprofit.
Or delivery of health care.
To compete with the for profit insurance companies that appeals to those who want the public option.
But on the other hand it is not government controlled not government run its run and controlled by its membership.
So so senator kick in when -- -- -- in the very beginning I said it almost sounds to me like mean unions the Clinton it is about the people together coming together in this cooperative approach.
Does this then suggest that these cooperatives were created.
There have to be a multiplicity of -- update each individual states and individual counties so as to prevent ourselves.
From re creating the union concept.
Well this isn't really union concept this -- quite a bit different than an organized labor -- this is a cooperative structure.
And we have many businesses in this country that function as cooperatives that is members get together.
Pooled their resources provide -- -- it's not otherwise available or not available and on the terms that they prefer.
So this is something that is been around for a hundred years.
There are thousands of them in this country wouldn't we have a health care cooperative in Washington State.
-- Puget Sound has 580000.
Members right so we've got a model here that's working.
And that I think can perhaps bridge the differences between Republicans and Democrats and actually between some of them.
Yes I think you're thinking -- you say -- a lot of these cooperatives are things that we don't now we know Puget Sound we know land of lakes but perhaps not sure that all of us know that they are cooperatives.
Let's get to the real issue here and that he has cost.
-- -- -- -- You know that that is right at the heart of this that the notion of this alternative.
Is to provide competition to bring down -- You know if you look around the world.
One of country's done to try to contain -- well one.
Model is single Payer we're not gonna do that in this country.
Another model is what they do in Germany they have.
Pools of people who get together.
Through their employers.
And then have negotiating leverage because they cover thousands of people they can go to providers and get better rates.
That's what's at the heart of this concept to have more competition.
To have more choice in the system and yes it would require.
I don't I don't believe it be a single cooperative I believe he would have.
Many cooperatives around the country.
Probably at least with 500000.
People in each pool.
That's necessary to be actual -- only sound.
And they have to leverage is decent prices for flat.
And the -- going back to my question are those people paying for the cost of this Health Care Reform or is -- in conjunction.
With insurers -- with private corporations are we all -- the bell.
You know the way a cooperative works the members.
Put up money to start it.
Probably -- require some help from state and federal governments to get started to get up and operating but after that.
No government involvement no government money it would go on the membership -- -- of those who have -- Health and human characters -- services secretary Kathleen Sebelius was on with the earlier this morning she said Health Care Reform by the end of the year is it doable.
It is but it's gonna take a lot of tough decisions and let me emphasize what senator Gregg and I ranking Republican on the Budget Committee.
Have -- have emphasized in our letter to the head of the Congressional Budget Office we need the best road map for what can seriously contain costs because.
One in every six dollars in this economy is going to health care the trend line -- -- would take us to one and every three dollars in this economy going to health care.
That's totally unsustainable that would be a disaster for families for our businesses and even for governments.
All right senator Kent Conrad terrific -- on the show thanks for taking all that time.
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