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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seeking the Home-Field Advantage in the Public Option

The trigger suggestion is insane (Seeking the Home-Field Advantage in the Public Option, New York Times, October 23, 2009).

For nearly forty years, the Health Insurance industry has opposed improving coverage. They now claim that they can control costs and provide universal coverage. They are not to be believed.

Only a competing public option system will do. The call for a trigger is absurd. If the industry had the will it could have done what it proposes sometime in the past forty years. It has not, giving them a few more years would be an unreasonable waste of time during which many would remain uninsured.

The idea of small cooperatives is also un-workable. That is the same formula that the industry imposed with the Medicare drug plan -- small cooperatives can bargain with the drug cartels (I mean the pharmaceutical companies) but the government cannot bring its massive purchasing power to bear. That plan has no hope of cost reduction.

The President must stand firm on the need for a public option and Congress must vote for a public competitor to be in the mix.

I would prefer to see a single payer plan in place. The most compelling reason for moving quickly to a form of single-payer health insurance is the advancement of science.

Once genetic screening techniques are perfected, so that each individual's propensity for each and every disease is known from an early age, the only form of health insurance that makes sense will be the single-payer form. The private health insurance industry will go the way of the dodo, as no responsible U.S. Government will allow an unregulated market in which Insurance Companies can cherry pick for coverage those with a low propensity to get sick while excluding those from coverage who are likely to do so.

Sent to the New York Times

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