Posted: 06/25/09 00:26
by Dave Mindeman
I have difficulty understanding the arguments being used in the current health care debate...and remember this debate is about a weak "government" option rather than single payer.
Private insurers have complained about the costly bureacracy that would, they say, inevitably happen with a government run system. Even though their own administrative costs rocket upwards of 17 to 20%. Medicare's costs, which is government operated, runs about 3%.
Now, the private insurers are concerned about competing with a government insurance option because it would run them out of business. In theory because costs would be low and coverages broadened. Afraid of the competition?
The Chamber of Commerce is complaining that a public option will force mandates on employers and penalize them with some "mysterious" fine that so far has no basis in fact. And how these mandates can be forced on employers when a public option is available is also quite mysterious.
Republicans complain that the public doesn't want government run health care....even though a recent poll claims that 72% of the American public say the opposite.
Democrats seem to be afraid of their own shadows; because they are worried about a government run option even though they hold majorities in both Houses to pass it and have a President who is eager to sign it.
And still.....nobody is dealing with real, honest to goodness, single payer health care. What we have been debating is a weak ghost of the real thing....a usurper that claims to have all the same advantages, yet it adds too many of the old private insurance problems.
Single payer would be a complete change from what we have now. It apparently worries the people who profit from the status quo. And it should, because it can fix the burdensome problems that are dragging down the budgets and the economy.
It is the solution that requires leadership and courage to bring it out of the shadows. The people are ready -- but the leadership and courage is in short supply.