WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, issued the following statement after receiving responses from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Government Accountability Office (GAO), and National Cooperative Business Association (NCBA) on the proposed health care co-op plan under consideration by the Senate Finance Committee:
“The proposed co-op model is untested and unsubstantiated – and should not be considered as a national model for health insurance. Both the USDA and the GAO agree there is not sufficient analysis and data for health care co-ops, and the National Cooperative Business Association – the leading association for co-ops nationwide – believes that more research must be done before such a plan can be considered.
“The consumer health insurance cooperatives identified by the USDA and NCBA operate and function just like private health insurance companies. There is no evidence that co-ops would bring costs down or make insurance more affordable.
“I have said all along that we need a public plan option in health care reform to drive down the insurance costs that are pummeling working families. I urge my colleagues to seriously consider this troubling new information before hanging their hats – and most importantly the livelihoods of millions of Americans – on an untested concept. We can do better.”
Senator Rockefeller sent a letter today to Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Grassley expressing his concerns. The full text of the letter is available here.
View the follow up letter from Senator Rockefeller to the USDA, click here.
View the follow up letter from Senator Rockefeller to NCBA, click here.
View the letter to Senator Rockefeller from the NCBA, click here.
View the letter to Senator Rockefeller from the UDSA, click here.
View the letter to Senator Rockefeller from the GAO, click here.
View the GAO summary of reports on cooperatives, click here.