Sunday, August 16, 2009

It All Makes Sense Now

I'd been avoiding thinking about the Health Insurance Reform debate and the Town Hall meetings that came with it, mainly out of a sense that it was yet another Tempest in a Teapot, and that those commentators who said that it was really about other issues (such as the fate of working-class Whites once they became a minority) were right.

But I had been thinking about it this morning, and came to something of a Eureka! moment. Bear with me for a moment, while I lay this out. My question had become: If on the one hand, the Government Option was going to be too expensive to sustain, while on the other hand, government panels would consign older people to either euthanasia or lack of access to care to save money - where would the money go? Well-paid government employees?

So the objection is that if a government health-insurance option were in place, it would drive all other health insurers out of business, as they couldn't compete with the pricing and/or the level of service. Once the other insurers were out of the picture, government would raise taxes to pay for the plan, as people would have no other viable options. At the same time, plan officials would be looking for ways to save money by cutting services, through blocking procedures recommended by peoples' doctors, and/or by cutting people off from the program entirely, under the idea that it wasn't cost effective to treat them. But the money savings would have to somehow disappear (presumably into the pockets of government health-care policymakers), otherwise people would push to have their premiums (taxes) lowered.

That sounds awfully familiar. I've heard that criticism of organizations before.

And then came the realization. The issue isn't necessarily that want corporate health insurance rather than government health insurance. There seems to also be a fear that a government monopoly would be just as bad, if not worse, than a corporate one.

No comments: