Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Why So Scared of a Public Plan?

Asks Joe Conason, in a recent Op-Ed:

Within the coming weeks, Americans will begin to consider critical issues concerning the future of health care for themselves and their children, including universal coverage, taxation of benefits, computerized records and the controlling of costs. But before the debate commences in Congress and the media, big insurance and pharmaceutical companies are lobbying frantically (and spending millions of dollars) to foreclose the possibility of the most promising aspect of health care reform: a public insurance option.

Studies have repeatedly shown that patient satisfaction with Medicare, the quintessential public insurance plan, is considerably higher than with private insurers among comparable age groups. And consumers understand that the drive for profits often conflicts with patient care, leading them to the conclusion that insurance and pharmaceutical corporations are excessively powerful and socially irresponsible.

Why so scared? I will give several reasons:

(1) Past experience has shown that the federal government is notoriously incompetent at doing almost anything.

(2) When the government begins paying for something, like the bailout of GM and Chrysler, then immediately begin meddling in it in favor of those groups that have political pull. Thus the GM and Chrysler dealers who supported Republicans are being shut down, while those that are owned by former Democrat politicians (example: former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McClarty) or by Democrat supporters are allowed to stay open. The unsecured claims of members of the United Auto Workers union are given priority of the secured claims of the bondholders, many of whom were pension funds being managed for retirees, who were derisively referred to as "speculators" by that creep 0bama.

Likewise, those who have political pull will be given preferential treatment in any type of government health insurance. We have seen how minorities and sometimes women are given preference over white men for university admissions, hiring, promotions, etc. It is also quite likely that white men will be sent to the end of the line for health care.

(3) Conason claims that patient satisfaction with Medicare is higher than with private insurers. This is because Medicare, like Socialist Security, is a Ponzi scheme. The current beneficiaries of Medicare are getting a good deal because their bills are being paid by younger people who are still working. But when young people reach Medicare age, there won't be enough money to pay their bills.

If you were to ask any of the people who had invested their money with Madoff, prior to the revelation last December that his fund was a fraud, you would also find that they were very satisfied with the high returns and low risk that Madoff was giving them.

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