Green Mountain Daily has a post this morning about the upcoming health care reform battles. It, of course, misrepresents the opposition to the “public option” because how else can the left win a debate on any issue other than mischaracterizing the opposition? (You’ve gotta give them credit for being proactive, though.)
A “public option” would be a government payer (a la medicare or medicaid) as one of the menu choices. Obviously this makes subsidizing easier on the one hand, but also allows the feds more control over the types of coverage. Private insurers are afraid any public option would be too appealing and affordable and draw away business – and both opponents and proponents of a single payer system see this as a way to potentially facilitate a transition to such a model.
The bolded selection is my emphasis, obviously. That’s the part that’s, let’s say, less than accurate.
How about this?
Private insurers are concerned that any public option will be given an unfair advantage and, as a result, look more appealing and affordable.
The public option will be artificially low in cost, as the current medicaid and medicare systems are. There’s the obvious, that the public option has the advantage of tax payer funding, but that is not the only advantage. The government does not pay fair market value for services rendered. This is possible because the rest of us are subsidizing it though our insurance or cash payments.
Once the public option entices unsuspecting consumers with her siren song of low, low prices, the private firms will be driven out of business and all of the sudden the public plan will be in a world of financial hurt, since there won’t be anyone around to offset the below-value payments.
Oh wait, the public option already is in a world of financial hurt. How about we fix the public plan before we lure more people onto it?
Here’s an analogy the left ought to appreciate: The public option is like when Wal-Mart moves into a neighborhood and puts everyone else out of business with their artificially low prices. And how does it get such low prices? By forcing companies to charge them less, in exchange for doing business with the country’s largest retailer. That’s exactly what the government does to doctors.
The public option: it’s the Wal-Mart of health care.
Sign me up!
Look, health care is expensive. Next time you are at a hospital, take a look at all of the expensive equipment. We have made amazing advances in medical science, all of which cost money. If we want it, we need to pay for it.
Right now, private insurance is paying for most of it. When private insurance is gone, the public plan will have to pony up the dough. It’s either that or lower our expectations for care because it’s not going to come for free.
As P.J. O’Rourke says, “If you think health care is expensive now, wait until you see what it costs when it’s free.”