I've been playing with this one too long, especially considering there is nothing complicated about the current health care "debate." The Obama presidency may come down to whether he can once again confound the forces of reaction and install an efficient, equitable, economical in the truest sense, and universal health insurance system. By now the only people who don't understand that such a program must operate under a broad public mandate--indeed, will ultimately have to take the form of a single payer plan--are, sadly, the antediluvian eejits who run the Congress and benefit largely from the largess of health insurance companies. Witness the Democratic Senator from Montana, Max Baucus, who boldly and forcefully told the advocates of a single-payer plan that he was wrong not to include them in hearings on health care reform but not to get in a huff about it because it is now to late in the legislative process to even consider such a novel idea, according the Dan Eggen in today's Washington Post.
This position is ultimately pinned to the Obama, who is said to have ruled out pushing for single-payer on the grounds that it is politically impossible. The Obama being the Obama continues to push for a public insurance plan that would compete against private insurers. They know full well that in an equal competition with a solid, well designed public health plan, they would soon go under or transform themselves into boutique additional insurers for the rich. That's why they were in Congress a month ago, when I started this blog, claiming that they needed a "level playing field." Well, you have to admire their corporate cajones, but really, does anyone other than a member of Congress or a distempered Republican believe for even a nanosecond that private insurers serve their clients and are good in any way, shape, form, or fantasy for health care?
This non-debate is being carried out against GD2 [Great Depression Due], wth thousands of people a day losing jobs and what pathetic insurance they did have. Had Congress the courage to act for the good of he nation and its citizens rather than the profit of insurers--the most significant figures are the 60 to 70 percent hhe current insurance driven health care bureaucracy keeps for itself, meaning that no more than 40 cents of every health dollar actually goes to patient care, and that is probably optimistic--it would immediately vote for a single payer plan, recognizing that currently overtaxed Medicare keeps only 2 to 3 cents of every dollar for administration. We can't afford not to go down that road, but here we are, clinging to the hope that the Obama can get a good public option on the playing field, knowing that if he does there will be no contest.