Saturday, October 31, 2009

Who is health care reform supposed to serve?

The Democrats have to make a decision: do they believe their job is to reform the health care system to the benefit of the American people or protect the health care industry? To my way of thinking the reform bills are already healthcare industrial complex protection plans, within which the public option is only a possible way to keep the door open for further reform. It's very small potatoes as it is and slightly embarrassing to have to be fighting for at all. To pretend that this complicated mishmash without even that is the best they can do with a huge majority and a President who ran on the issue should be more than slightly embarrassing to them.

By the way, the CBO now says that the public plan premiums will end up being more expensive, but they don't tell you why: they assume that the private plans will find ways to evade the intention of the law and deny coverage to sick people. And why not? They are for-profit entities who are required to maximize their shareholder value however they can. They've literally got to make a buck. Essentially, the CBO has baked into their numbers the idea that you can't trust the health industry to cover everyone because they make money by taking your payments and not paying claims.

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