Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Private Healthcare versus the Public Option: What's the simple argument?

I thought I should post something today on the healthcare debate that was unique. With all the debate and arguments made that were trying to trash the Public Option being included in the final Bill in the Senate, no one has made the most obvious reason why the Government is the answer to this problem and NOT the Private health Insurance companies. You see the Republican argument to kill the Public Option is that we shouldn't have Government in the business of providing Insurance to Americans, the uninsured should let the free market solve the problem. let me state what's wrong with that argument in plain, clear language. They haven't solved the problem the past 150 plus years so why will they start now? I don't see anything wrong with buying Private Health Insurance, as many can afford it, but, there are many who can't, and what should their fate be?

When I was young, my Mom worked for Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) in Massachusetts as a Claims processor. My son-in-law works for BSBS of VT and I have consulted to many of the BCBS plans as a Consultant to them. There wasn't the problem then with worrying about coverage by the Health Insurance companies in those days. In those days the BCBS company and Association was a Not-For-Profit business. But they watched some of their competitors making more salary and bonuses and eventually it caught them too. The Free Enterprise system became the biggest attraction and draw to these companies' executives in the 1980's and many began to look for ways to make money and they drifted away from their core mission and noble cause and, many say, became just like any other Health insurer.

You see the main difference is philosophical between Democrats, who favor Government involvement, and the Republicans, who favor small Government. The result of the Free market economy can be seen clearly for what it is, a Boom or Bust cycle. That's what has happened to our economy since my parents were born in the early 1900's, and that is what always happens in Free markets. They create boom and bust cycles and big bubbles. Right now we are going through a boom cycle for the Insurers and that is why they are fighting this so forcefully. But when they get into trouble, watch who asks for a bailout by government. Americans health care can not be left to Boom or Bust cycles. We need a healthcare system that is more constant and consistent and helps all equally, irrespective of the financial resources of the individual. Quality Healthcare should be a right for all our citizens and the Government is the only guarantor for the long haul, just like it protects us from enemies abroad who would wish to change our way of life.

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Blogger Minneloushe said...

I am amazed that anyone could possibly disagree with your analysis. The idea that health care is not a right is absurd to me. There are two investments that every good government makes - or should: Education and health. Those are the two most efficient ways to produce wealth in a society, and improve the quality of life for all.
Meanwhile, Beacon flounders, and Gesh is not sanguine. I'm getting clobbered all around, and right at the time I have to go out and find an apartment to buy. Live IS, indeed, an adventure.
Meanwhile, the administration's Open Government Initiative launches today - the work of my friend Beth Novek, who is working with Vivk Kundra in the White House Office of Information and Technology Policy. Very exciting; I think also the release of the WH visitors list was her doing.
Warm regards to you and your wife,

6:47 AM  

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