We at least need an option for public health-care insurance

It seems to me that it is perfectly moral to make money selling soap or cars or tickets to the movies. But I think it is unethical to make money on the backs of sick people, that it is wrong to profit from selling them health-care insurance and then to deny them benefits when they get sick. A system that increases the profits of health-insurance companies that charge as much and pay out as little as they can get away with is obscene in my book. Yet this is the system that we have in the U.S. today.

There are those who want to preserve this system (mainly Republicans) and those who want to change it (mainly Democrats). Isn't this country big enough to have two systems, a private health-insurance system for those who want it, and a public health-insurance plan for those who want that? This, to me, would be the appropriate compromise on this subject.

If the Democrats drop the public option, it will be because of the influence of the private health-care insurers, who don't want competition. There is no public, nationwide, nonprofit health-care-insurance industry to influence congressmen and senators with their campaign contributions (our euphemism for bribes).

The only way to really cut medical costs in this country is to get rid of the health-insurance middlemen and have the money go directly to hospitals and doctors from Medicare. A public plan like that will drastically bring down the costs, insure everyone and cut out all the insurance paperwork, not to mention personal bankruptcies resulting from astronomical medical bills. But if we can't accomplish such a single-payer system right now, at least Congress should give us the option of a public, nonprofit plan for those of us who want it.

— Fred Flaxman
Weaverville

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12 thoughts on “We at least need an option for public health-care insurance

  1. travelah

    Why do we need Government competing with private business? All that does is invite newer and bigger problems. The better solution is to identify who is falling through the cracks and address that part of the social net. Address portability, preventive medicine and medical tort reform and you would be hard pressed to find a problems worth such a bitter battle.

  2. Nancy Johnson

    “Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them.” Ronald Reagan

    If we end up with National Socialist government run healthcare, start practicing your Roman straight arm salutes and “seig heils”. And kiss your disposable income goodbye, along with your personal freedom of choice.

  3. Mister Blister

    I get real tired of people comparing things they don’t like with Nazi Germany. Nazi Germany gassed millions of people and we are talking about saving lives and extending health care… or are you someone who thinks they were baking bread in those ovens?

    Health care companies do all they can to deny coverage to those they insure. Plenty of Americans WITH INSURANCE are driven into bankruptcy because of preexisting conditions or failure to tell the companies they had an ingrown toenail before their heart attack.

    Also your hero Ronald Reagan loved subsidizing big business, agri-business, and the military industrial complex. Corporate welfare = a-ok! (??)

    We pay more for health care than any other nation and get the least out of it.

  4. Sovereign Starr

    Ok… the Nazi Germany comparison was obviously due to the fact that the National Socialists were in favor of socialized medicine. And why is it that so many people keep going on and on about how the government needs to provide us with healthcare, but no one ever seems to really question how health care in this country got so expensive in the first place. It’s not just because the health insurance companies are lining their pockets. They are in business to make a profit. In order to do so, they need to offer quality services at a reasonable cost. Right now they are unable to do so, which is not good for their bottom line, and which will eventually put them out of business. The fact that they are unable to do so is due to government regulation and the monopolies of both the AMA (which restricts entry into the medical profession, thereby allowing doctors to charge astronomical fees for their services due to the supply of doctors not meeting the demand) and the FDA (which makes it economically prohibitive to get new drugs introduced, thereby creating a lack of competition in the pharmaceutical market, which leads to a lack of choice in drugs and a much higher cost). These problems could easily be solved by shutting down the FDA and by removing licensure regulations for medical personnel. If those two things were accomplished, insurance rates would drop dramatically and even the lowest paid workers would be able to afford medical coverage. For an enlightening article about the true fruits of a socialized medical system from an actual eye witness to such atrocities, please see http://mises.org/story/3650.

  5. RingoStarchy

    Right, let’s remove all the regulations against the medical profession, and everything will be all right.

    I suppose you think the invisible hand will keep these companies and pseudo-docs honest, right?

  6. Frank Ricci

    Actually soulfetishdue, the AMA and the law already keep doctors within the bounds of good medical practice. I am a liberal, but I am happy with the way my medical insurance operates. I doubt the government will make it better.

    Sovereign Starr makes such good points, she bears repeating.

    “Ok… the Nazi Germany comparison was obviously due to the fact that the National Socialists were in favor of socialized medicine. And why is it that so many people keep going on and on about how the government needs to provide us with healthcare, but no one ever seems to really question how health care in this country got so expensive in the first place. It’s not just because the health insurance companies are lining their pockets. They are in business to make a profit. In order to do so, they need to offer quality services at a reasonable cost. Right now they are unable to do so, which is not good for their bottom line, and which will eventually put them out of business. The fact that they are unable to do so is due to government regulation and the monopolies of both the AMA (which restricts entry into the medical profession, thereby allowing doctors to charge astronomical fees for their services due to the supply of doctors not meeting the demand) and the FDA (which makes it economically prohibitive to get new drugs introduced, thereby creating a lack of competition in the pharmaceutical market, which leads to a lack of choice in drugs and a much higher cost). These problems could easily be solved by shutting down the FDA and by removing licensure regulations for medical personnel. If those two things were accomplished, insurance rates would drop dramatically and even the lowest paid workers would be able to afford medical coverage. For an enlightening article about the true fruits of a socialized medical system from an actual eye witness to such atrocities, please see http://mises.org/story/3650.”

  7. Sovereign Starr

    Here’s what will keep people and companies honest: the profit motive. That is, it would… if the current government-controlled system did not exist.

    As it is now, a large corporation (or a group of them) has every opportunity to manipulate the system in their favor.

    Are you a pharmaceutical company attempting to squeeze every cent possible out of your customers, with no regard for ethical business practices? Just hire a few lobbyists to convince congress that drugs are too dangerous to be left to the free market. Make it economically prohibitive for any competitors to come on the market offering better and cheaper pharmaceutical solutions, by creating a system in which the FDA has to approve all new drugs (a mandatory “service” with a multiple billion dollar price tag.) Then, when people die in droves from taking your FDA approved drug, you don’t have to be held accountable! Meanwhile, others are dying in droves because the FDA will not approve drugs that could save their lives.

    This is a government-sanctioned monopoly (or collusion, perhaps) that seriously harms people. In a free market, any company trying to sell a drug (or any other product) that killed people, would very quickly be put out of business because people would not give them any business! Because every company’s motive is to make a profit, they would make damn sure that their drug was not going to kill, or otherwise harm, their customer base. Likewise, in a free market, companies have to offer quality products and services at a reasonable cost, or people will not give them any business. But under our current gov’t sanctioned monopoly system, the big three pharma companies can charge whatever they want for their shitty life-threatening products, because the gov’t will keep competitors out of the market for them.

    Anyway, the consumer is and should be the final arbiter of whether companies or doctors are operating in an honest and ethical fashion. If you are relying on the government for that knowledge, I fear it may be too late for you.

  8. dancing light

    huhn. interesting how Starr and Ricci can answer for each other.

  9. Frank Ricci

    “huhn. interesting how Starr and Ricci can answer for each other.” I don’t see this dancing light. What I see is agreement on the issue that direct government involvement in healthcare is not a good thing. I am retired from the medical profession, so I have some first hand experience here. What may sound good on paper, and in campaigns, doesn’t transplate on the operation level. Doctors, nurses, and hospitals get so tied up in government red tape they cannot perform their duties as well. Keep healthcare free of a government takeover.

  10. Eli Cohen

    “Government does not solve problems, it subsidizes them.” Ronald Reagan

    If we end up with National Socialist government run healthcare, start practicing your Roman straight arm salutes and “seig heils”. And kiss your disposable income goodbye, along with your personal freedom of choice.

    Hold up there little lady. Sounds like you have a case of too much glenn beck! And by the way, raygun’s policies have largely been discredited. History has not been kind to the “trickle down kid.”

  11. Eli Cohen

    “I am retired from the medical profession, so I have some first hand experience here. What may sound good on paper, and in campaigns, doesn’t transplate on the operation level.” Frank Ricci

    Frank, being an orderly isn’t considered being part of the medical profession. It’s obvious you don’t like the idea of any sort of universal health care. But aside from your annie rand cut and paste quotes, you haven’t produced any valid arguments. In fact you come across as superstitious in your opposition to any sort of government regulation of any industry. ANY industry that sells a product that we absolutely must have, (medical care and energy for example) or products that are a danger to us, need some government control.

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