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Blog of Mass Destruction

Choices & Competition

By The Reverend Published: June 15, 2009

Here's a link to update this post....it's a must read.
From yesterday's Face the Nation on CBS with Bob Schieffer....

Schieffer countered (Senator Mitch) McConnell's(R-KY) contention that the Obama plan would choose (or deny) which treatments a covered individual may get; the White House is not proposing any kind of rationing board, he said. He also repeated the administration's assertion that a public insurance plan would give people another option. "If they want to keep their private insurance, that's OK," Schieffer said.

"I know they say that, Bob," McConnell countered, "but if the government is in the insurance business there won't be any other insurers, it's inevitable."

As I have blogged previously, I firmly believe that any health care reform coming out of Washington, inevitably, will exclude a public option and, most likely, will tax employer-provided health care benefits as well. Love to be wrong about that.

All that campaign bribery money, you know, has a purpose.

That said, consider Mitch McConnell's statement, "if the government is in the insurance business there won't be any other insurers, it's inevitable."

Why would that be the case? Why would the inclusion of a non-profit, public option health care coverage plan be the death knell for all the private health insurers?

Is it because the public option would be cheaper than private insurance and, therefore, American consumers would flock to the cheaper product? And why would Americans flock to a cheaper product if the cheaper product was inferior in every way, as conservatives insist a public health coverage product would be? Are American consumers just stupid?

In what other product or service industry is lower pricing a problem that should be prohibited? Take one example....Has the huge purchasing power and alleged lower prices at Wal-Mart eliminated all competition for consumer goods? Why, then, would a public option eliminate all private health insurers?

Has Social Security eliminated private for-profit retirement plans. If not, why not?

Republicans and conservatives say they are advocates of unfettered free markets. Belief in economic competition is one of the hallmarks of conservative economic ideology, at least that's what we're told. Why wouldn't conservatives favor a bit of competition in health coverage?

Now for the pot stirring part.

The Reverend suggests that the conservative opposition to a public health coverage option, both from Republicans and Democrats, is based on their true ideology of a non-competitive marketplace. In other words, those who shout the loudest in defense of economic competition are, in fact, opposed to economic competition.

I can already hear the boos.

But consider.....why are there so many corporate lobbyists crawling all over Washington? What's their purpose? Is it to cultivate active free market competition in the industry that they represent? Is it? Of course not.

The very purpose of all those lobbyists and all that campaign bribery cash is to gain marketplace advantage, not to stimulate more competition, not to advance a more level playing field for consumers. The reason tele-communications corporations, for example, pour so much bribe money into politicos' coffers is to slant the marketplace in their favor. And it has worked. Do consumers have a choice in broadband providers, or have cable corporations, with their 'bought and paid for' elected officials, tilted the free-market to successfully squelch competition?

The same dynamic is at work in the energy market and banking. Is there genuine competition in the gasoline market? Other than "introductory" bait-and-switch marketing ploys, is there really any competition in CD rates or mortgages?

No, conservatives who are shouting the loudest in opposition of a public option health coverage plan being included in a package of national health care reform aren't interested in enhancing market competition at all. They are only interested in skewing the "market" in favor of big bribing health insurers while creating the illusion of choice. They are only interested in maintaining the high corporate health coverage prices and schemes which have created the unaffordable situation we're currently being crushed by.

As elected officials addicted to Big Campaign Bribes from health care providers bloviate continually over the next 10 weeks or so about "choices"......don't allow yourself to be buried under the bullsh*t. The only choices these status-quo corporate defenders are worried about are the preferred choices of those who are bribing them.

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