Friday, October 16, 2009

The Medical State of the Union

Richard Ralston of Americans for Free Choice in Medicine has written another OpEd, "The Medical State of the Union".

Here's an excerpt:
...The red herring that everyone who currently has insurance will be allowed to keep it omits the detail that a government-managed "public option" would provide an overwhelming financial incentive to every employer in the country to drop insurance for their employees in favor of throwing them into the public plan.

The President and many in Congress have indeed made it clear that they prefer a completely government-controlled, single-payer insurance system. The public option, as supporters like Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) have stated, is the best and surest path to a single-payer system and would accomplish that end by demonstrating "the strength of its power," as he puts it -- an accurate, if ominous, turn of phrase. The public option would be enacted with that intent and would be administered with that objective.

Further to that end, a "trigger" to impose a public option if insurance companies fail to reduce costs -- after all of the government-imposed costs are in place -- would inevitably be implemented by those anxious to pull the trigger.

Most deceptive about the President's stubborn defense of the public option is the assertion that only government can provide competition to private insurance, when it is only the government that now prevents private insurers from competing with each other. Current federal legislation that prohibits the selling of insurance across state lines could be repealed along with the massive coverage mandates now required in most states.
(Read the full text of "The Medical State of the Union", also available on the AFCM website.)