Republican members of the pivotal Senate Finance Committee said they remain unmoved in their opposition to a government-sponsored health insurance plan. When asked if there was any way the GOP could shape such a plan to make it more palatable to their ranks, Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) said he did not think so because eventually youre going to end up with the same situation as you (have) todayeven if its not designed that way at the beginning.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) warned that a public plan would lead to price controls. It would ruin the healthcare system in this country, Hatch said. It sounds good, but really would be awful.
The comments followed a 15-member roundtable discussion on coverage options that could become part of a broader initiative to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system. There, the insurance lobby fought to beat back the idea, offering its own set of reforms instead and adding that the government is ill-equipped to administer such a program. Scott Serota, president and CEO of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, said that the government would become a regulator, payer and a competitor, and that creates an unlevel playing field.
Protesters advocating a single-payer system disrupted the discussion as it began.