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Digby on a health insurance mandate....
Any plan that forces the uninsured to pay their hard earned money to wealthy private insurance companies under penalty of law is a huge political risk. These are the same companies that have brought us to this place where people are routinely denied the care they were promised, lied to about what was covered, scammed into paying huge sums of money for no security and no guarantee. Health insurance companies have dealt with their customers in bad faith for years and years and now we are being told that everyone must pony up and pay them even more. For all the talk of reform, when you whittle this down, that one fact comes roaring back at you and it sticks hard in the craw of anyone who considers themselves progressive.
That's exactly right. It is also the very reason a public competitive option MUST be included in the final bill. If we are forced to buy health insurance....and there is no mechanism to hold insurance rates down.....not only will Americans be forced to give their "hard earned money" to the same industry players who have created the clusterf*ck we now enjoy......but health insurance rates, and health insurance profits, will continue to skyrocket.
Politically, because nothing that will be passed will be implemented until 2013, all Democrats want to do is pass something they can boast about in 2010 and 2012. Republicans want to stop anything from being passed by Democrats, anything that could be perceived as good for America, anything that Democrats can claim as a victory.
You know the drill...grab the dirty end of the stick....cause that's the only end you're allowed to grab.
Suppose a mandate for health insurance passes but not a competitive public option....which is a likely scenario. 40 million new customers will be handed over to private, for-profit health insurers. In addition, it is very unlikely that insurance cost controls, of any kind, will be included....which will mean a huge new demand AND higher insurance costs.
Making things even worse will be the government subsidies that will be included to pay for private, even-higher-priced, health insurance for those who cannot pay for it themselves.
Consider the mess we'll have after all this goes in to effect in a few years. Higher health insurance prices, with little, if any, cost controls,......all Americans forced to buy this higher priced insurance....and tax dollars going to for-profit corporations, the same private corporations who brought us the diastrous situation which required...umm....reform, in the first place.
The problem with health insurance is that it costs too much. Many Americans do not have health insurance because it is cost prohibitive. With a reform bill that mandates coverage, prohibits any cost control competition from a government-run option, and pours billions of new tax dollar subsidies into the pockets of the very same people who created the crisis in the first place......Americans will pay even more for health care, exacerbating the very problem (costs too much) which created the need for reform originally.
It looks like Democrats are willing to f*ck over the American people by passing a bill that will actually make the health care problem worse. Democrats are prepared to go through with this potentially disastrous plan for Americans for the sake of political bragging rights....AND....the continued inflow of big pharma and big health insurance campaign contributions to their party.
Democrats, having partially sold out to corporate control during Clinton's triangulation days, seem prepared now to take triangulation to a whole new level. Democrats are triangulating with huge, for-profit corporations......guaranteeing them a huge windfall in the coming years....in return for campaign cash to keep Democrats in power. Those hoping for true and meaningful reform, on the other hand, are being told, disingenuously, that true reform is on the way.