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Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Democrats Health Insurance Competition Gambit

The Democrats have continuously defended their idea for a public option of health insurance by proclaiming that insurance companies take advantage of the system and a public option is necessary to provide competition. This has always been a totally illogical and absurd claim. There are over 1000 different companies that provide health insurance in this country. Yet, they are convinced that one more is what is necessary to create real competition.

At the same time, Republicans like Senator Jim DeMint and Congressman John Shadegg have gotten behind ideas to allow health insurance to cross state lines. Right now, health insurance works as regional monopolies. This is something I have spoken of on more than one occasion. One reasonis that insurance companies long ago were able to carve out an exemption in Sherman Anti Trust that would allow for such regional monopolies. Furthermore, it is now illegal for health insurance to cross state lines. As such, a health insurance company located in Pennsylvania can't provide insurance to a patient in New York.

If Democrats were honest about what was providing a lack of competition in health insurance, they would start and end there. If health insurance companies competed in all fifty states, that would immediately create all sorts of new competition and bring costs down.

Yet, the Democrats don't want any of that type of reform to health insurance. They claim that state laws and regulations keep such competition from being possible. Yet, somehow car, home, fire, and life insurance can all cross state lines. In fact, I know of no other insurance but health insurance that doesn't cross state lines. Remarkably, the only health insurance that is so expensive that its causing a crisis is health insurance.

Instead, Democrats want to create one health insurance company, and one only, that will be able to cross statelines. That's the new health insurance provided by the federal government. The only health insurance
provided by the federal government. It will still need the help of medical billing employees to run properly. The only health insurance provider that will be able to compete with every health insurance company in every state will be the new health insurance provider that will be created by the federal government. (that's along with Medicare, Medicaid, and VA which are also government run)

Now, if Democrats are so keen on creating competition, one must ask why they are so resistent to allowing health insurance to cross state lines. This week Barney Frank admitted to Single Payer Network that a strong public option would lead to single payer.

The same happens in this Jan Schakowski clip.

The drive toward "competition" is nothing more than a trojan horse. If competition was their main priority, then the plan would allow for insurance to cross state lines along with the public option. It isn't. Instead, the only thing that will provide "competition" is the public option. Remember, it is the far left wing of the Democratic party that is most in favor of the public option. They were the ones that revolted when the Blue Dogs weakened the public option last week.

Any robust public option, like the one favored by Schakowsky and Frank, would eventually lead to single payer whether its supporters know it or admit it or not. That's because the public option has the benefit of the unlimited power of the Treasury and taxes. Their costs will always be lower than a private insurance company's costs. Though, often that cost is made up in printing money and in higher taxes. Competition can be created by opening up the market to interstate competition. The public option is nothing more than a trojan horse toward single payer.

1 comment:

Ashish Pawar said...
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