Experts Consider Public Option Compromise, Role Of OPM In Health BillKaiser Health News talks to nine experts who weigh in on the proposed public option compromise as a possible spinoff of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program to be run by the Office of Personnel Management.
The experts include Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor Jonathan Gruber: "I think it makes a lot of sense. FEHBP has been very successful about keeping cost growth down." Another view is from Robert Moffitt, a former OPM assistant director, who observes that this would put the administration in charge: "These [legislators] don't realize it's kind of a two-edged sword. They have the Obama administration, but you may also have the Palin administration" (12/14).
Federal Times also spoke with experts, some who have concerns that the plan could overwhelm the agency and "risk undermining federal pay and benefits programs that OPM is responsible for overseeing. 'In my opinion, OPM is good at what it does. It can't go beyond that,' said former OPM Director Linda Springer. 'You can't try to have OPM be an insurance company.'"
"Making OPM responsible for setting up and managing an insurance program for tens of millions of uninsured Americans would be a mammoth undertaking for an agency of 5,800 people - and only 184 of those manage the health insurance program for federal employees, retirees and dependents" (Losey, 12/13). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.