Sunday, September 06, 2009

Time to Whip out the Clue Bat

After watching this lady, who (as Morgan said) nailed it, a youtube link to this woman came up, and I watched it.

She asks if the congressman really thought that a public option was the only way we can "keep these insurance companies honest".

The congressman answers
I think first of all we have to end the monopoly that the insurance companies have ... in our country.
Stop right there. I hear this all the time. But look ... insurance companies is plural. It's plural to the tune of 1,300 companies. How, I ask, does that qualify as a "monopoly"? Mono -- one. 1,300. "Why do you keep using that word? I do not think it means what you think it means." So that's a straw man. One that people evidently buy, though.
I want doctors, nurses, and patients making medical decisions, not insurance companies.
Ok, nice thought. That sounds great. Hold that thought.
Insurance companies attempt to ration care every day if you will, by denying claims people otherwise should be covered for.
Well ... first of all, technically, no. They are denying payment for certain medical procedures. If you can come up with the money, or if you have enough family and friends to take up a collection to help you pay for it ... you can go get it done. And whether or not that procedure should be paid for is subjective and probably based on the contract you have with your insurance company. And governments, when they get involved in health insurance and health care, tend to forbid you from paying for health care yourself. It makes them look bad, and ultimately, these people are really about deciding what's "fair". To them, it's not "fair" that you have more money.
We're gonna change that system, and we're gonna, by creating this health insurance exchange, we're gonna give consumers much more power and choice in choosing their health care plans, and again, providing transparency and competition in the process, taking away that monopoly power from insurance companies.
There's that word again.

How is that going to work?

How about this? Repeal the laws that don't allow people to buy insurance across state lines so that these insurance 1,300 companies actually have to compete with each other. I heard a lady from California say she has a choice of 6 insurance companies due to laws restricting competition.

A "public option" merely adds a government, "Post Office" version of a health insurance company, and it involves government in something it should not be involved in. As I've said before, it is an inherent conflict of interest when a competitor makes and enforces the rules. And in the end, just like a private insurance company, the Government Option will have to decide which claims to pay and which ones not to. Let me repeat that. Government. Making. Decisions. How's that Cash for Clunkers money comin' out? Good damned thing that's not heart surgery they're waiting on.

If a private insurance company behaves unfairly and it has to compete with other insurance companies, people will stop using that insurance company. It has something to lose. Government has nothing to lose. To "fix" problems it will simply demand more and more taxpayer money, while politicians add layer upon layer of tangled laws so that they can say they're "doing something". And all an insurance exchange does is add a government middle man demanding payment for whatever it deems should be provided, driving costs up, not down.

Plus, ultimately, we all know that this is just a foot in the door to moving to a single-payer government health-insurance, health care system that will be a real monopoly. Run by the government.

But then this woman, the one who asked the question in the first place, jumps in and has this bit of "wisdom" ...
The difference between opponents and proponents of health care reform ... we are ... worried about our neighbor. We're worried about the health and the welfare of people around us. And the opponents, are worried about themselves, and about the bottom line. And to me it's been like the most striking difference, and I personally think it's the saddest.
How about this, your smug highness? To me, proponents are all about appearing to be morally superior and beating their chests about what they intend vs the opponents, who realize that despite what you intend, the social cons of going down that path outweigh the pros.

We don't hold a sexy position that'll get us pats on our heads, which is why it's much harder to get people to listen to us and see where we're coming from.

We realize that when you remove financial incentive from the consumer so he is insulated from it, and demand service from the producer, demand for services will go up and one of two things will happen.

Either the price will rise, or services will become scarce. The demand/supply ratio will skyrocket. One of those two things has to happen.

It's happened in Canada. It's happened in Germany. It's happened in England. I'm sure it's happened in Cuba. And it will happen here, too.

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