Thursday, April 9, 2009

IBD on the Public Plan

The April 7, 2009 Investors Business Daily has a good OpEd explaining why the proposed "public plan" will kill the private health insurance industry.

Here's an excerpt:
...President Obama and Congress' plan to offer a government health plan would ultimately be a death warrant for private health insurance. The public must be alerted.

The findings this week of the respected Lewin Group health care consulting firm should be chilling to all Americans. "The private insurance industry might just fizzle out altogether," warned John Sheils, chief author of the study, which looked at the effects of setting up federally managed insurance.

Its premiums could be 30% below the average offered by the private market, assuming Medicare payment levels. If eligibility were only extended to small businesses, individuals and the self-employed, as the president promised in last year's campaign, enrollment in that cheaper public option would reach nearly 43 million. Insurance companies would lose 32 million customers.
FIRM is non-partisan, and I am not a Republican. But I agree with this statement from the article:
"It is not a failure of the market, but the ways the market has been distorted largely due to government policies and programs," the House GOP plan states. "They have undermined the doctor-patient relationship and removed the individual patient from the decision-making process... Layering on more government control, regulation, and 'management' cannot address the problem; it will only reduce the alternatives available to individuals and families."
If this "public plan" goes through, then this will be the inevitable end result.