Steven Pearlstein wanks in the Washington Post:
Enough already with the public option!
It is not the be-all and end-all of health-care reform. It is not the long-awaited safety net for the uninsured. And if, as many liberals hope, it turns out to be nothing more than Medicare for All, it won’t do anything to hold down long-term growth in health spending.
How do you open a column with shit as weak as this?
The second part doesn’t support the first part…it contradicts it. And the second part makes no logical sense.
If the public option is not the long-awaited safety net for the uninsured then it assuredly cannot be Medicare-for-All. What can he possibly mean by ‘nothing-more than Medicare-for-All’?
And asserting that putting all the healthy people in this country in the Medicare system won’t hold down the growth of health spending is just plain stupid.
Why do private insurers make so much money? Because Medicare covers everyone over 65, and because children are often covered by Medicaid or CHIPS or state-run programs. Because all our Veteran’s and members of the Armed Services are covered by the government. All that is left are people aged eighteen to sixty-five who are not disabled and not going into combat or recovering from it. This enables the private insurers to take in trillions in premiums while paying out a mere pittance. The government takes all the risk and most of the expense of providing health care in this county. Adding sick people to the private rolls would force the private insurers to lose profits or raise premiums. Conversely, adding healthy people to the government rolls would allow them to get the exact same benefit that the private insurers currently enjoy. The government could take in a ton of revenue without having to pay much out, and that would offset the rise in the cost of providing health care.
This isn’t rocket science. Look at it this way. Providing health care for every American costs a certain amount. If you don’t have to pay for some corporation’s marketing plan and their CEO’s seven-figure salary then you’ve just saved money. If you don’t have to add on cost to provide for profits, then the cost of providing health care is much cheaper. We’re not doing brain surgery here.