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NY Congressman Weiner nails it.

Naamloos

“Leaving private insurance companies the job of controlling the costs of healthcare is like making a pyromaniac the fire chief.” So says New York House Representative Anthony Weiner (D) on his website. And then he convinced Joe Scarborough of the need for a public option in health care reform. Can someone in the White House please give Weiner a call? It sounds like the PR-department could really use him.

  1. Well, by that reasoning, why not have a public option for our food supply as well? How can we trust the grocer not to charge us an arm and a leg for a loaf of bread? Answer: free market capitalism.

    Instead, this congressman wants to “keep the insurance companies honest” by providing a public option. Yes, a public option that will “compete” with the private insurers. The only difference being that it won’t have to turn a profit and will have unlimited resources through taxpayers’ dollars. How is any insurer supposed to compete with that? Answer: it can’t.

    This will inevitably lead to government run (read: single payer) health care system. The same govment, btw, that has already racked up a combined debt for all other entitelments and unfunded liabilities of well over 100 Trillion dollars!

    To return to the fire analogy: this congressman wants to save his house by burning it down. Doesn’t make any sense.

  2. There is no reason for a public option for a food supply as food prices are low. The food market seems to be working as it should.

    The supposedly free health insurance market seems to be flawed. Somewhere, somehow prices are going up beyond what many people can afford. I think we can agree on that, can we?

    So now Americans are confronted with a choice: do they want more Americans to be insured, or not? Polls indicate that an overwhelming majority of Americans wants health insurance to be more affordable.

    The public option is a way, a lever if you will, to force premiums to come down. Personally, I think it is an effective, albeit temporary way to depress prices. I don’t think there’s much use in offering a permanent public option as that would, as you opine, pretty much destroy the market. A working health insurance market is what you people need.

    As for successive US governments racking up debt – it doesn’t seem beholden to just left-wing politicians, now does it? As far as I can tell, the only president from Roosevelt on to balance the budget was Bill Clinton.

    Well, at least he ended his presidency with a surplus.

    Republican administrations burn money on defence expenditure, Democratic administrations burn it on social entitlements. (George W. Bush was perhaps the first Republican Democrat, or Democratic Republican.)

  3. Just to be clear: I consider myself an Independent, not beholden to either Republican or Democrat talking points. (As far as I’m concerned they’ll both run us off the cliff; one just a little faster than the other.)

    You wrote: “The supposedly free health insurance market seems to be flawed. Somewhere, somehow prices are going up beyond what many people can afford. I think we can agree on that, can we?”

    The flaws you allure to are predominantly caused by governmental meddling. I wish we had a truely free health insurance market, but nothing could be farther from the truth.

    Consider:

    1-Most Americans are insured through their employer. The current system excludes the value of employer-provided insurance from a worker’s taxable income. However, an individual purchasing health insurance on their own must do so with after-tax dollars. Employment-based insurance hides much of the true cost of health care to consumers, thereby encouraging over-consumption. It also limits consumer choice, since employers get final say over what type of insurance a worker will receive. It means people who don’t receive insurance through work are put at a significant and costly disadvantage. And, of course, it means that if you lose your job, you are likely to end up uninsured as well. It would be a BIG improvement if we’d move away from a health care system dominated by employer-provided health insurance (i.e. change the tax code). Health insurance should be personal and portable, controlled by individuals themselves rather than an employer (or a governemnt for that matter).

    2. People in the US are not allowed to buy insurance across State Lines. Federal Law prohibits this, thereby stifling competition.

    3.Nowhere in the 2000+ pages of the Health Care Bill currently discussed in the US Senate, will you find the words “tort reform”. Any attempt to make it harder for lawyers to file (and collect in on) frivolous lawsuits that drive up insurance cost for medical practicioners is DOA. Why? Trial Lawyers are big campaign donors for Democratic Candidates.

    4.The US Government has enormous control over what insurance companies can and must cover. (Think a 70-year old man paying for birth control, because–by law–it’s part of his plan). These so-called mandates have increased the cost of health insurance by billions of dollars. What is insured and what is not insured should be determined by individual customer preferences and not through special-interest lobbying.

    There are more examples of how the Government distorts the health care market, but I’ll leave it at this.

    You wrote: “Personally, I think it [the public option] is an effective, albeit temporary way to depress prices.”

    As far as I am concerned, the words “temporary” and “public option” are mutually exculsive. Once the government gets its foot in the door, there is no turning back.(look up the history of Social Security in the US, and you’ll see what I mean). Besides (as one of my friends once told me) a bowl filled with 99.9% ice cream and 0.1% sh#t, still tastes like 100% sh#t.

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