Health-Care Cooperatives: Fig Leaf or Fix?

With Obama softening his stance on a public insurance option in the face of stiff opposition, health-care co-ops emerge as an untested alternative

Senator Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) says he is trying to revive apparently deadlocked health-care talks by pushing nonprofit insurance cooperatives. But the co-op model he is touting has been tested only on a small scale and is a questionable vehicle to generate real competition for huge health-insurance corporations, injecting further uncertainty into the White House's attempt to pass health-care reform this year.

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