So apparently now we will get a healthcare reform that does two things 1) mandates everyone to have insurance (sounds good) 2) gives subsidies to poor people to buy insurance (sounds good). But …
However, it does nothing to make costs go down. All it does is that the taxpayer pays for some of the costs. The money ending up in the private insurance sector as overhead can grow arbitrarily large as it does now. In fact, perhaps it can grow faster as part of the money is spent “invisibly.” Example (think in recent history if you haven’t seen such an example): If the government starts giving everyone $1000 towards a purchase of a new car to make new cars cheaper, very soon the price of a new car will be $1000 more than it used to be. The car buyer suddenly pays the same, but the car dealers make $1000 extra.
And I did say overhead, since the money is not be spent on “healthcare.” It is spent on the insurance sector. So apparently all that we are doing is making sure that the insurance companies are very profitable and can continue to raise costs, need not compete.
A good nonprofit (public or not) health insurance is about spreading the cost of healthcare with the minimum amount of overhead (health insurance is purely about spreading the cost, in the end at least slightly more money has to be paid in premiums than is paid for the actual health care). In the current system, the money that flows into the health insurance is a LOT more than flows out (and the difference is rising).
There is some sort of a religion in this country that anything that’s a private enterprise is good, and anything that has anything to do with government is bad. If we all believe in capitalism, why are we afraid of competition. If it does happen that the government can run a health insurance better and it drives the private insurers out of business, then so what? Don’t we in the end want our lives to be good? To be able to pursue happiness? Why are so many millions of Americans concerned with the well being of rather a small number of health insurance executives, who might be losing out on their 20 million dollar salaries?
The current status quo is good for those few rich executives. The new “reform” is good for them as well. Everyone else is getting screwed over (and many of those people willingly out of paranoid fears about their grandmothers being put in Obama-death-camps).
I think perhaps it would be better to let the whole thing go. Leave public option in, let the bill die. The current bill does nothing about the amount of money spent on health insurance and healthcare. It just moves some of the money to be paid from tax revenue. But without any measure to reign in the exponentially rising cost. So all it does is it postpones the day when the system implodes. And makes the implosion probably more spectacular. The insurance will get unaffordable for the average family maybe 5,10,15 years later, but by that time a large part of the bill is also paid by the taxpayer. So not only will we not be able to pay for health care, but we’ll have a huge taxpayer bill. All the time we are feeding an incredibly inefficient system with billions of dollars.
I mean have you dealt with a private health insurance lately? The inefficiency of the system is multitudes beyond any braindamage that a government bureaucrat can even begin to imagine. We’re just going to spend more money keeping that system afloat, making the stockholders and executives in those companies rich. In capitalism, one is supposed to get rich by making a superior product. The insurance companies make the worst product imaginable, wrap it in shit and charge an arm and a leg for it, and we’re afraid that they might go under, so we’ll make sure that they don’t have to improve their product?
Why are we not afraid of driving private security companies out of business by having a taxpayer paid police force? I mean, poor Tony Soprano, if we make police be government run, maybe he’ll be out of business of “protecting us.”
So why not let the bill die. At least the moderate Republicans and the conservative Democrats will have a black eye next election, because trust me, the shit is hitting the fan. By 2010 maybe not yet, but in 2012 or 2014 the situation with healthcare will be so unbearable for such a huge proportion of the population that Republicans will be the ones proposing expanding Medicare. The current bill just moves the fan a little further, but keeps it in the flightpath of the shit, and it throws an extra one or two new pieces of shit at it.