The Worst Health Care Option

July 26, 2009 at 12:03 pm

I read an interesting article in the AP this morning: Are lobbyists silver lining in health care system?

The crux of the argument was that lobbyists were actually keeping the debate around health care alive.

The article argues that the health care industry “sees a strategic opportunity.”

The questions I ask are: Why would they do this and what is this opportunity?

They are after 2 things:

  1. Mandated health insurance – If everyone has to have it, this increases their market
  2. Intermediary status – They want to be in a position to directly receive funds from the government in order to control how these funds are spent

If the insurance companies can act as the middlemen, they stand to make the most profit by taking as much as they can from the government and paying out as little as possible to the insured.

This is the option that no one in America should want.

Costs will be higher, coverage will be lower, and the people who benefit most are the insurance companies.

When I see the spin from all sides, I start to ask questions like, why are the lobbyists so interested in health care reform? Is it because they want to fix a broken system? Or, do they see a way to make further profits and make a bad situation worse?

Sometimes it seems that if we wrote policy according to what the lobbyists fight most against, the public would be best off.

For example, the so-called “public option.” The lobbyists hate this. The hospitals don’t like it because it could cut payments to them. The insurance companies don’t like it because it would cut out the middle man and be a more efficient form of insurance. Rather than the money going from government to insurance companies to insured, it would just go to the insured. No chance to make a profit if you never see the money. And everyone would have insurance.

But they hate it. It won’t profit them. So they send their public relations teams out to put fear into people. It will be “socialized medicine.” Do you want some government bureaucrat deciding how you get treated? Do you want to be like Canada?

Well, Canada isn’t in this crisis. They spend less per person on health care and get more for it. And I’d rather trust a government bureaucrat than a corporate bureaucrat – at least the government bureaucrat doesn’t get compensated based on how much he can NOT pay me.