Saturday, August 22, 2009


Progressive Review - The health care fight is being posed as a struggle between left and right but the true story is far more complicated. For example, as we have noted, there are a number of excellent provisions in the bills such as banning use of preexisting conditions to deny insurance. These would form the basis of an important health care reform measure - admittedly far short of single payer - but a definite step forward.

Why is no one talking about this modest approach? One reason is that the insurance companies and pharma industry are only going along with such provisions provided they get a huge increase in clients thanks to the requirement that all must buy health policies and thanks to new government subsidies. Without the new business, and the subsidies involved, the insurance corporados would oppose the measures.

Obama tried to keep this all under control with a so-called pubic option but the insurance companies have apparently ditched even that. So now we are left with a bill that provides some definite improvement in healthcare at an extraordinary cost - some paid by the government and some by those required, perhaps unconstitutionally, to purchase private health insurance.

We are talking about a bill so important to the pharmas that they are putting over $200 million into lobbying for a bill most liberals are also supporting with few questions.

Among the reasonable questions: why won't private insurance rates soar just as they have in states that have adopted such an approach?

How we deal with these problems and contradictions is hard to perceive given the craziness of the debate spurred by the bills. Logic can't even get through the door, let alone to the table. But a good place to start is for liberals to recognize the extent they have been conned into a costly alliance with the insurance and drug industries. It's hard to find allies more greedy, selfish and clever than those,.