Last week, prior to President Obama’s big speech on health care reform, I posted a piece about how I felt the current debate on health care reform is a losing battle that will help no one but private insurers or big government proponents. Being one of the 46 million Americans currently without insurance, and part of the group celebrated– or more accurately “used”– as the need for such reform, I just felt like my opinion on the issue might be of interest.
Now that it seems that the furor over a Republican congressman calling the President a liar during the speech has overshadowed legitimate concerns about the nature of any such reform, I feel like I should make my opinion perfectly clear. And to emphasize my point, I will be blunt. If we mandate everyone to buy private health insurance without some serious regulations and checks on the industry, they will bend us all over and have their way with us using a 15-inch strap-on. And they won’t even buy us dinner. Clear enough?
If the Federal government were to mandate that everyone in the country has to eat breakfast at McDonald’s every day or be fined by Uncle Sam, do you really believe that the price of a hotcakes and sausage meal would go down? It’s extremely naive to think that a private industry will forego possible profit for any other reason than the fear of the law. Lots of corporate executives for multi-billion dollar industries routinely say, “Have some money back. We’ve made enough profit,” don’t they? Happens all the time. I’m sure such an esteemed industry as insurance will be more than happy to pass up the chance to suck even more massive profits out of us when we no longer have any choice but to buy what they’re selling. After all, it’s not like they profit by taking advantage of people’s generous natures of contributing our hard-earned money to help pay for the care of sick people or anything.
For the record, I am in favor of health care reform. If there is an industry out there in need of having it’s collective ass handed to it by Uncle Sam, it’s the health insurance industry. The pharmaceutical industry, too, but that’s another post. Trust me, they suck even more than the insurance companies, but nobody’s mandating we have to buy their over-priced, habit-forming crap. Yet.
My point is not that we don’t need reform. We do. Just not this kind of reform. THE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY IS THE PROBLEM. (I put that line in bold type and all caps, just in case you didn’t catch my meaning.) It is not, nor will it ever be, the solution. There is no hourglass ticking down here. I’m in favor of finding actual solutions, not mandating coverage so we can claim progress and announce that everyone has insurance, and worry about the details, not to mention the costs, later. For once, maybe we should actually do something right.