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David Sirota: If Private Health Insurance Is So Awesome, Why Would It Lose a Competition With Gov't? [View All]

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-05-09 07:33 PM
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David Sirota: If Private Health Insurance Is So Awesome, Why Would It Lose a Competition With Gov't?
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from OurFuture.org:



If Private Health Insurance Is So Awesome, Why Would It Lose a Competition With Gov't Health Care?
By David Sirota

March 5th, 2009 - 11:02am ET


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If government is so awful, so inefficient and so supposedly hated by the country as the right so often insists, how are those same Republicans insisting that Americans would overwhelmingly opt to be covered by a government-run health care program, if given the choice?

McConnell suggested there were areas in which Republicans won't compromise, particularly the creation of a new public insurance program to compete with private insurers. Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition, the letter stated.


If the "free market" is as marvelously awesome as conservatives claim, shouldn't it have absolutely no problem winning a health-care competition with "government-run programs?" Or does this little-talked-about hypocrisy in the Republicans' argument expose a brazen corruption? Does it show that conservatives are totally bought off by the private health insurance industry that Americans despise?

I'd say the latter. The conservative movement sees polls showing the public supports the concept of government-sponsored health care (and loves government programs like Medicare) - that is, the party knows that if given the choice, many Americans would choose a government-run program over private health insurance. But because the party is so owned and operated by the private health insurance industry, it is willing to effectively undermine its entire macro-argument about the supremacy of the free market so as to shill for its moneyed benefactors.


Editor's Note: Campaign for America's Future staff member Mike Elk notes on his blog, yinzersolidarity.com:

"It is ironic that McConnell would claim that true competition would be doomed because true competition currently does not exist in the health care market. According to the American Medical Association, a single insurance company controls 50% or more of the market share in 64% of the nation's 313 health care markets. In 96% of the nation's markets, one health insurance company controlled at least 30% of that region's health care market.

Due to the lack of competition, there is little motive to control costs in order to competemeaning that many folks simply can't afford health insurance. A recent study by Families USA showed that 1 out of 3 Americans under 65 (people over 65 automatically qualify for Medicare) lacked health care for some or all of 2007-2008. The biggest irony is that that of that group, 4 out of 5 were in a household with a full time worker and still could not afford health care. With so many Americans uninsured and health care costs causing someone to file for bankruptcy every 30 seconds, it's clear that there is not adequate competition for providing working families with quality, affordable health care.



http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/2009031005/if-priva...




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