Time’s Karen Tumulty’s spoke to Igor Volsky about a break-out session she attended that featured America’s Health Insurance Plans CEO Karen Ignagni. As Tumulty explains, Ignagni proposed delegating the writing of a plan to some kind of outside commission:
The break-out session that I was just at, in fact, Karen Ignangi made one of the more radical specific proposals, which is to take most of this out of the hands of Congress, set up a commission sort of like the Base Closing Commission, to come up with a plan and present it to Congress on a sort-of take it or leave it basis.
Ignagni’s proposal is revealing. With Democrats running the major health reform committees — Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) at Senate Finance, Henry Waxman (D-CA) at Committee on Energy and Commerce — the insurance industry probably believes that it can get a better deal out of (and have more influence over) some kind of commission.
I dunno about that. I mean, at the end of the day if you’re an insurance company why would you be afraid of Max Baucus? A commission seems to me like a perfectly reasonable idea; it’s just not going to happen. Members of congress are busy fighting each other for committee jurisdiction on health care, not fighting to give up jurisdiction and give it to an outside commission. That’s probably why should brought it up. Bringing up reasonable alternatives that have no chance of happening is a time-honored stalling tactic.