Monday, July 27, 2009

#134 Health-Care and the Economy

With a nod to last post ... No, not everything in this country need conform to the profit motive. But, okay, if you want to believe in the basic free-enterprise profitability of the US Economy, which I do, and can believe in our President and the consensus of expert economists (including a Nobelist or two), which I do, then we must perforce DUMP private health care as we know and love it. A totally free market hasn't been able to control what I call the "50% equation"--wherewith collectively we pay 50% more for health care than any other First World country ... and get 50% less health care. Or as Obama put it in his press conference last week, "We spend much more on health care than any other nation, but aren't getting any healthier for it." All true, and all a colossal drain on our resources, let alone our sense of security and general well-being. He continues (with some addenda of my own):

That is why I've said that even as we rescue this economy from a full-blown crisis, we must rebuild it stronger than before. And health insurance reform is central to the effort.

This is not just about the 47 million Americans who have no health insurance [or 25 million more who are UNDER-insured]. Reform is about every American who has ever feared that they may lose their coverage if they become too sick ["recision"], or lose their job [and face the exorbitant and only temporary COBRA], or change their job [and face a potentially dangerous waiting-period or, worse, no employer-provided insurance at all]. It's about every small business that has been forced to lay off employees or cut back on their coverage because it became too expensive. And it's about the fact that the biggest driving force behind our federal deficit is the skyrocketing cost of Medicare and Medicaid [caused by Big-Med].

So let me be clear: if we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit [a good ol' Republican hobby-horse]. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket [the Big-Med monopoly]. If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction. [Bad business practices, even from a free-market standpoint.] These are the stakes of the debate we're having right now.

Alas, the President disappointed the Blogman in this respect: He did not mention Public Option by name. His handlers may have thought it too "volatile" at this point. I don't know. I know that's what he wants, and it may lurk later in the speech beneath this: "If you don't have health insurance, or are a small business looking to cover your employees, you'll be able to choose a quality, affordable health plan through a health insurance exchange [?]--a marketplace that promotes choice and competition." I just wish he had spoken more plainly. For--short of Single-Payer--the Public Option is the only way we can even start to break the stranglehold of the Big-Med monopoly. Which is tantamount to Fraud in my Libertarian book.

1 comment:

Tammy Rose said...

I don't know JD this crazy health care reform. Is Obama on track? What about this jerky Republicans they are going to chew him up and spit him out like tobacco!!!
Great Blog though!

Tammy Rose