why a non-profit public option is important..

This was brought up on the MucheDumbre forum today in regards to a government involvement in healthcare..

Essentially, that is my problem with all of this. I already have a problem with the FDA and AMA being owned by drug companies, why make the problem bigger?

If this is how you feel, that private companies already have too many fingers in the political arena and are turning policy in their favor, then the only option for you is the public option.

As it stands now all healthcare options are  owned,regulated,price marked and everything else relating to  them by the for-profit health insurance companies. Your doctor doesn’t decide his fee, Cigna,Aetna,BCBS decide what and if they will pay him.It is the insurance company who decides what they will pay, who they will pay, where they will pay.. who can get their product and  who can keep their product even after paying for it for decades. Without a public option, the way it is now will look like the ‘better’ way in 5 years..

Think about it for  second… A not-for-profit public option that would be self-sufficient and rely on the premiums it collects, going from the Government to the healthcare provider(i.e.. doctor,clinic,hospital)  is  a direct line to the ones doing the service. Yet, this has been deemed evil,socialistic,freedom robbing and bad because it is the government who is collecting the money and giving it out to the providers…

The other alternative is that we subsidized[pay for] not just the >5% who would chose a public option but all 45 million uninsured American with a credit that comes from private and public funds{i.e. taxpayers} . The difference is  that the money goes directly to the insurance company where they take their 30% cut and then decide whether to pay the doctors/hospitals the rest. It is a mainline from your wallet into the wallets of the same types you say you are against, the private companies- NOT the doctors and hospitals proving your care.

Somehow the government  paying the insurance company with taxpayer’s money instead of the provider being paid with the fees that those in the option have paid for is the better option for some. How it’s  better or less socialist for the government to subsidize the insurance companies is something I haven’t had explained to me even though I keep asking,but let’s keep moving.

Not only will the government subsidize the insurance company, but without regulation or something in the market competing with them, the insurance companies can get their ‘asking price’ for any policy they offer, meaning they can start charging the government whatever they want for the healthcare the government is buying from them..while still retaining the right to decide how much they will reimburse the doctors,hospitals or if they even will reimburse them.

What is being asked for here to control this is the choice of a public option, for  less than 5% of the uninsured in the United States .   Less than 5% of those uninsured now, not 20% of the entire population, 50% all of the United States of America, but >5% of the 18% who are without insurance..

I’m not being a smart-ass.. but read that again before moving on…

“Let me be clear — it would only be an option for those who don’t have insurance,” he said.

“No one would be forced to choose it, and it would not impact those of you who already have insurance. In fact, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates,

we believe that less than 5 percent of Americans would

sign up.”-Obama health speech before congress

we’re talking millions of people yes,  but single digit millions.

The not-for-profit public  option will force these unregulated companies to atleast keep their fees reasonable. It won’t put them out of business, the creation of any reform will ensure 45 million more people buy their product. That’s not taking money away from them… that is a windfall of fat cash coming their direction.

The not-for-profit public option will force these companies to own up to their contracts and actually pay out more claims, because to deny someone coverage because of a preexisting condition will become illegal.  It will force them to become a better product than they are right now, because  right now the ‘free market’ is allowing them to have all the marbles whether those be taxpayers marbles or private marbles. It is allowing them to collect whatever amount of money they want while choosing when and who to pay it out to. You purchased your insurance plan to cover your medical costs, you didn’t  purchase it so they company you chose could have complete autonomy to do with your money as they saw fit and thus leaving you responsible for the doctor bill at the same time.

Again, read this again. You pay the insurance company to cover your health care costs.. if they deem your claim unworthy, you are still responsible for the payment  to the doctor/clinic or hospital who treated you. So now you have paid the insurance company to keep your money and the doctor to treat you. Seriously people, if you just want to send your money to someone while still being responsible for your bills, I’ll be glad to accept it instead.



To put it simply, there are only two choices here.. .We either pay the insurance companies to insure the uninsured and thus, paying their fee for doing this  or we pay the doctors directly to treat the uninsured. If you don’t like big Pharma being involved in the politics and decision making, then you can’t be against something that  takes big insurance out of the politics and decision making on people lives.

What is wrong with giving the overwhelming majority of the people a choice of what is out there?  That’s all, a choice.

I found a quote from Bill Moyers on another blog that said

“we should be treating health as a condition, not a commodity.”

I can’t imagine it being put into simpler terms.

If you are wondering just how much around the fingers of the insurance CEO’s the politicians have wrapped themselves, there are calls for ‘tort reform’.  This will in essence regulate how much money a lawyer can be paid for his services. Why are we so against providers of the actual services being reimbursed for their product and so much in favor of the companies who offer no other service than to hold our money and decide who or if they will pay with it. If the doctors and lawyers charge too much, isn’t one of the tenents of ‘free market capitalism’ that they will be weeded out as their competitors  offered the same for less?  Isn’t government imposing the will of   a select few companies, who service is solely to pay these doctors and lawyers the money you gave them, isn’t imposing those companies will over the will of the ones doing  the service you hired them for,  more detrimental to  the idea of Capitalism?

****UPDATE****

sometimes a good video says it all…




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5 responses to “why a non-profit public option is important..

  • Howey

    “Essentially, that is my problem with all of this.”

    I suspect by reading the statement following this statement the writer is incapable of thinking for his or her self. Anyone who would think the physicians are in bed with the insurance companies is wrong.

    The AMA, one of the President’s chief supporters of health care reform, sent him and Congress the following needs for health care reform in a letter:

    • Provide health insurance coverage for all Americans
    • Enact insurance market reforms that expand choice of affordable coverage and eliminate denials for pre-existing conditions
    • Assure that health care decisions are made by patients and their physicians, not by insurance companies or government officials
    • Provide investments and incentives for quality improvement, prevention and wellness initiatives
    • Repeal the Medicare physician payment formula that will trigger steep cuts and threaten seniors’ access to care
    • Implement medical liability reforms to reduce the cost of defensive medicine
    • Streamline and standardize insurance claims processing requirements to eliminate unnecessary costs and administrative burdens

    Source: http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/mm/399/open-letter-090809.pdf

    A public option is essential for true health care reform.

  • lil mike

    Your premise, that the only way to avoid private sector influence in the political arena in health care is by going to a public option, not only doesn’t make sense, but it’s ahistorical. Private sector interest and influence in government regulations and programs have expanded as the scope of government has expanded. Do you think there would be no lobbying done on behalf of private interests on a public option? The problem with government oversight and regulation is that the people who end up as the regulators and writing the regulations are either industry insiders who manipulate things to favor their industry or industry enemies, who don’t really have a grasp or understanding of the industry except as an opponent of that industry. In either case, things go to hell.

    It’s already been happening. The “big pharma” tet a tet with the White House, and a similar one with the big health insurance companies. As I told you earlier in this debate, one way or another, the big companies will be OK. They will always use government regulation to try to damage their competition.

    You are not correct when you say that “Your doctor doesn’t decide his fee, Cigna,Aetna,BCBS decide what and if they will pay him.” Insurance companies negotiate payment schedules with providers. Provider’s are not forced into a relationship with a particular health insurance company unless they join a practice that has one. Speaker Pelosi has other plans with the public option however.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/09/23/politics/politicalhotsheet/entry5331747.shtml

    “The Blue Dogs in the committee worked out a deal with committee leaders to make a public option negotiate payment rates with medical providers — instead of dictating them. This is intended to put a public option on a “level playing field” with private insurers. Pelosi, however, reportedly plans to peg public option payment rates to Medicare payment rates.”

    We know what that will mean: Providers will get squeezed on reimbursement, so just like having to absorb people without insurance, the health system will have to absorb low reimbursement rates, so health care costs will continue to skyrocket.

    Pre-existing conditions are not linked to a public option. I’m not sure why you are trying to connect the two, since all of the bills in question, including the President’s unwritten, imaginary bill, eliminate pre-existing conditions, regardless of whether they have a public option.

    I liked this quote:

    “I found a quote from Bill Moyers on another blog that said
    “we should be treating health as a condition, not a commodity.”
    I can’t imagine it being put into simpler terms.”
    Simple indeed.

    Of course, with Will Ferrell standing with you, who can stand against you? I assume you and Pelosi think you can get this thing through. You’ve got 60 Dem votes in the senate, so it should be easy right?

  • ekg

    You’re wrong.. I hope the Baucus bill as it is now.. does NOT go thru..

  • lil mike

    I’m wrong? Well why didn’t you say so?

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