Thursday, March 5, 2009

Private insurers confess that gov't could provide better health care coverage

During the White House summit on health care reform today a couple of spokespersons for the private insurance industry more or less admitted that government could provide health care coverage than their industry does.

Both Scott Serota, who runs Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) described a "public option" for health care as "unfair competition" for the private market.

Hello. What happened to the idea that the private market is always better – both morally and practically? They seemed almost concerned that a public plan would be so attractive to people that private insurers would go out of business. And they're right.

I think President Obama's assertion that a public option would keep the private market honest is a good. It is the private market that is responsible for the inflation of premiums that have outpaced the rise in wages. Private insurance corporations have to explain why their bloated corporate bureaucracies and the drive to profit from illness and disease have driven up the cost of care. Private insurers have to explain why the US has a declining life expectancy rate and the most expensive and least effective system in the world.