Cross-posted on dKos
On Medical Reform in America
The problem of achieving universal coverage can best be coupled with cost containment by offering a public, non-profit insurance plan. The plan would reimburse private health care providers at the same rates private insurers do. The savings would come from the single-payer nature of the insurance and its non-profit structure.
The simplicity and fairness of such a system would probably attract a large portion of the subscriber and employer pool, exercising a lot of downward pressure on private insurer premiums and overhead.
Such a public plan would likely end private medical insurance as we know it over a five to ten year period.
This would be the great VIRTUE of the so-called “public option.” While allowing for private competition, the public would be free to provide their own health insurance to themselves through their own plan, without the profiteering of privatization. At the same time, those who object to public programs, notwithstanding their economy and efficiency, would be free to keep their private insurance.
The result would be the gradual elimination of widespread private health insurance coverage in America. At that point, the real savings of the public plan would kick in, because it is by virtue of the advantages of a “single payer” structure that any major savings can result from health insurance restructuring.
As long as the private insurers are allowed to inhibit the public from single-payer self-insurance, then the public plan would not be able to extend the great cost overhead reductions that will be obtained once single-payer becomes established as the primary American health insurance option.
Therefore, the so-called “public option” can only benefit us insofar as it serves as a bridge to a single-payer system, at which point the real savings can accrue.
Without this kind of design and impetus behind a so-called “public option” there is no good argument for savings and universality that supports the immediate implementation of the single-payer system right away.
The problem with American health insurance is privatization. Most Americans know this, in spite of billions of dollars spent by HMOs and insurers to convince them otherwise.
Most doctors, nurses and health care providers agree.
Finally, any government and public official who seeks to impede the move to the rewards of greater efficiency, lower costs, and universal coverage that come from a single payer structure will ultimately pay a great political price for taking sides against the American people in favor of insurance lobby and political action committee campaign contributors.
The reform we seek can be achieved by moving private insurers out of the medical health insurance business and moving toward a system of single-payer, universal coverage.
Any other “compromise solution” is not reform, but status quo.
Please go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact/ and relay this message to the President.
To submit comments on the Senate Finance Committee’s Health Reform Policy Options email PDF or Word files to Health_Reform@finance‐dem.senate.gov