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Arguing with conservatives about health care

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Don Smith       (Page 2 of 2 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   17 comments

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Already 60% of health care spending in the US in America comes from taxes. But we're not getting our money's worth. We don't need any additional spending. We just need to control costs. In particular, it makes no sense to funnel tax dollars through private insurance companies. The government can manage payment systems more efficiently and equitably than private companies can. The push for "privatization" ends up costing taxpayers more for less.

In fact, it's possible to fix private insurance to make it fairer and more efficient. This would require significant regulatory restrictions on insurance companies that go beyond those specified in the President's proposals. The Netherlands has highly regulated insurance companies that resemble public utilities.

In short, either a strong public option (ideally, single-payer) or heavy government regulation are needed to control health care costs. Neither of these workable solutions is palatable to conservatives, who are ideologically opposed to what they see as government "interference" in the economy. This is despite the disastrous subprime crash that resulted from reckless deregulation, and despite the manifest success of government-run health care overseas and numerous government programs here.

Alas, given the rampant corruption in Congress -- with both major parties dependent on corporate campaign contributions, and with the revolving door between Congress and industry -- it's unlikely we're going to get any significant reform unless the people demand it, the way they demanded civil rights in the 1960s.

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DFA organizer, Democratic Precinct Committee Officer, writer, and programmer. My op-ed pieces have appeared in the Seattle Times, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and elsewhere. See and for my writing, my (more...)

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