A Public Option With Lipstick Is Still A Public Option

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by JimofPennsylvan, Oct 30, 2009.

  1. JimofPennsylvan

    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

    Jun 6, 2007
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    The Democrat leadership is obviously hell bent on creating a Government Sponsored Health Insurance Program in the Health Care Reform Bill no matter what considering the House’s Reform bill and Senator Reid’s announcements that a version of the public option will be in the Senate’s Reform bill. Proponents of the public option seem to think that they somehow sanitize their initiative if they couch their idea as a state opt-in, state opt-out or just a collection of states joining together public health insurance program; all this finessing doesn’t change a thing all these programs will as a practical matter have the power of the Federal government to fix provider prices and have the Federal government’s financial resources behind them which will result in unfair competition and ultimately drive the private health insurance industry and employer sponsored health insurance out of existence and leave America with a single payer government health insurance system. Some of the Democrat proponents of the public option acknowledge this single payer system eventuality when cornered and when confronted with the reality that with this single-payer system’s price controls America’s health care system will have limitations in supply of specialists, testing services and treatment/surgery services. What is their answer to this serious problem? Well they say people can get private supplemental health insurance like some people do in other single-payer system countries to pay for private health care services when the government system can’t fulfill their needs. These proponents completely ignore that in these other countries health care cost’s structures are much cheaper than in America (e.g. doctors make significantly less money in foreign countries), in America, unlike foreign countries, this supplemental private health insurance won’t be cheap and if one adds on the amount of money an ordinary American will be paying for health insurance from a single-payer government system it is a terrible situation that ordinary Americans will be facing with a single-payer government health insurance system.

    A large portion of Americans that are opposed to a public option are not opposed because they are interested in preserving high pay for insurance executives or good profits for insurance company stockholders, they are opposed because they believe people should have choice for health insurance – that choice offers the best hope for people getting great healthcare for themselves and their families. Moreover, these Americans believe the employer sponsored health insurance system in America should be preserved because one, health insurance in American will always be costly because of the use of advanced drugs and technology in America’s health care, etc. and America needs America’s employers to shoulder a hefty portion of this cost and secondly, all employers including America’s have a moral obligation to pay a fair share for the health care needs of their workers it is a very simple principle that is at stake here which is that if an employer uses the labor of a worker that employer has a moral duty to pay a fair share of the health care costs for that worker.

    What is really heartbreaking is that many moderate Democrats see the dangers of the public option but they are being manipulated by Democrat leadership that the dangers will be avoided by the provision in the reform bill that the public insurance program will have to “negotiate prices” to health care providers just like private health insurance companies. The titanic size trap that moderate Democrats are falling into here is that with the reform bill’s “ negotiate prices mandate” provision there is no guarantee that this critical mandate will remain in existence over time and common sense indicates it almost certainly won’t. Even with all the provisions of this reform bill, health insurance will be enormously expensive for many Americans and these Americans will be looking to Washington for relief on this expense and the pressures on the Federal Budget will be so great for the foreseeable future it defies accurate description and considering how critical it will be for the nation to stop running deficits the pressure to mandate prices in the public health insurance program and save billions if not tens of billions of taxpayer dollars a year will be overwhelming and almost certainly will bring price fixing into the public health insurance program. The moderates agreeing to this compromise on the public option will look like the biggest fools, the biggest suckers when the final history is written and it shows the “negotiate mandate” didn’t last long.

    If Congressional moderates want to be reasonable and compromising so to help pass this critically needed health care reform legislation but still do the right thing and still protect the American people’s interests? This is what they need to do! They need to require for their vote for passage of this reform bill a provision in the bill that would be a trigger that is needed to occur before a government sponsored health insurance program could be put into effect and the following is what would be the trigger. The trigger would be that the Constitution of the United States would have to be amended to guarantee that the public health insurance program does not compete unfairly with private health insurance programs or employer sponsored health insurance issuers in America. The amendment would need to have at least three elements: first, that for the government sponsored health insurance plan “health care provider” prices could not be fixed by law unless the same price mandates applied to private health insurance issuers and employer sponsored health insurance issuers, and second, the federal government could not give any financial assistance to this federal health insurance program except for start-up assistance that it doesn’t also give to the private health insurance issuers plans or the employer sponsored issuers plans and third, that to the extent that the Federal health insurance program is available to people across the country so shall private health insurance issuer programs be available (the public plan can’t be allotted a national pool of customers where it can spread its administrative costs across a national beneficiary pool and private insurance companies limited to the current state by state licensing requirement that is not fair competition). Because of the health care crisis in America this amendment would sail through legislatures in states across the nation, America would very likely have the three-quarters of the states approval requirement for amendment passage within two years. If Democrat leadership has good faith if all they want is fair competition against health insurance companies if they are just looking for things like having the American health care consumer not pay for big salaries for health insurance company executives and big profits for health insurance company stockholders than they should agree to this reasonable request! If not than maybe America needs to wait eighteen months for passage of a health care reform bill and go through the 2010 congressional elections where the American people can send more moderates to Congress to look out for their best interests!

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