Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Good Morning, again, everyone. I don't know if the public option health care scheme is dead but I am fairly sure that the so-called co-ops won't make an iota of difference for most of us. I read one item yesterday which indicated that the start up cost would be about twice the projected cost of the public option. Here is an article in the Washington Post this morning that gives some of the particulars of the problem. One big one is simply a matter of scale. As a saying that I have seen often of late 'quantity has a quality all its own.' These co-ops simply won't have the size to make an impact on a market dominated by giants. Another niggling concern, given how many of the protesters at the town hall meetings screamed their fear of losing beloved doctors, is that the co-ops will, very likely, work more like HMOs in that they will contract with specific doctors, clinics and hospitals for services. Will consumers be able to keep doctors who refuse to go along with the co-op? By the way, yesterday's stock market seemed to give an indication of how much the health insurance industry liked the turn of political events. On a day when the market as a whole was very down, at mid-day (when I checked) the ONLY advancing stocks were in that industry. Business as usual--profits above the public good. And, if one of the primary aims of reform is, as has been stated repeatedly, to hold down sky-rocketing costs, history indicates that co-ops won't do the job. Again, take a look at the article for specifics.

Dean Baker at TPMCafe makes the same point. And notes the hypocrisy of the so-called fiscal conservatives willing to throw tons of money into a program that cannot work just to insure the profits of companies that make their money by gouging the electorate.

I will further note that this whole debate has been marked by an incredible level of right-wing hypocrisy. On the one hand they don't want a (government) bureaucrat to deny them medical care but they are fine with the notion of a (private industry) bureaucrat denying medical care. As far as I am concerned a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat is a bureaucrat (with thanks to Gertrude Stein).

Joe Sudbay at Americablog has a link to a story that indicates that the debate may not be as over as the mainstream media has portrayed. I saw a bare mention on the nightly news last night of this. I think the progressives who are insisting that there will be no health care bill stick to their guns. I am also half-way afraid that this will play right into the hands of the right-wing idiots 'scorched earth' notions. They will be very happy if nothing at all gets passed since that preserves the status quo and the industry's profits. I just don't know when the something we get is indistinguishable from nothing. And I can always hope that the blue dogs and Democrats-in-name-only get a dose of a different reality from constituents ticked off by their stonewalling.

Danielle at FrumpGazette has a number of choice comments to make especially on the character (or, more accurately, lack of character) of the minions of the right. It is amazing what some 'judicious' editing can do. She makes some other points as well. Enjoy!!

1 comment:

Looking to the Stars said...

Thanks for the link to FrumpsGazette. I found it very informative.

I feel that all these town meetings are showing the world just how stupid americans are.

And I agree, this is "fee america" and we have the hospitals, doctors and drug companies to prove it.