Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Lest we forget . . .

It's ridiculous that this is hidden behind the subscription wall, but you can read the first 150 words and I'll say something about the rest of it.

David and Steffie are not at all gruntled by the Big Fucking Deal the president signed last week. As you know, I basically agree but I ultimately decided that it does make it more plausible, not less so, that we'll end up where we need to be.

As D & S point out in the part you aren't allowed to read, "competition" among insurers is based, not on providing at better product at a lower price, but on a) taking your money and then b) finding ways to avoid paying for your health care. While the legislation purports to restrict their ability to do (b) in exchange for more of (a), they will no doubt find all sorts of tricks, dodges and scams to do (b) anyway. Meanwhile, there is no affirmative reason for them to exist.

In spite of "insurers" failing to insure, medical costs will continue to inexorably rise, as more money is pumped into the system, "insurers" will continue to skim their third in exchange for nothing, and no serious efforts are made to rationalize the use of medical resources. As a result, many people will still have inadequate insurance that will leave them financially ruined if they become seriously ill, and many people won't really be able to afford the insurance they are legally required to buy.

All this is true. We need universal, comprehensive, single payer national health care, still, as much as ever. However, we now have a nationwide regulatory regime over insurers. Once the bonds are in place, they can be tightened. And the logic of the situation says they will have to be as the federal government now has more skin than ever in the game. If the people can be helped to understand the issues correctly, they will see that it is their money which is being stolen by the insurance companies, and they will want it to stop. And we now have a structure in place to accomplish that.

That's my plan, anyway.

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