A Capitol Hill (Seattle) Health Care Model Gets Noticed on Capitol Hill (D.C.)

By Josh Feit July 7, 2009

According to yesterday's NYT, Capitol Hill's own Group Health on 15th Ave. is the model for a health care reform option—health coops—that's emerging as a compromise alternative to President Obama's "Public Option."

The public option would allow the government to offer a plan that would compete with private insurers.

The coops—at least as practiced at Seattle's Group Health—make the patients (members) the owners. And docs are paid salaries  and rewarded for success rather than by fee for service. Going the coop route was proposed by Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND) as a bipartisan compromise (Republicans and moderate Democrats don't like the idea of government health care). It's a private sector solution to bring down costs through the buying power and innovation that comes with collective care.

Eli Sanders at the Stranger has been covering the Group Health option, which Sen. Maria Cantwell—at odds with her liberal colleagues from Washington state—says should be on the table.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) outlined his health care position (he supports the public option) in a PubliCola interview last week.

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