Healthcare Reform: The Public Option and Single Payer

As a caller on Leslie’s show exhibited this week, there seems to be a lot of confusion about the Public Option and Single Payer.  Some of this is natural.  Some is intentional.  Lobbying firms for the Giant Health Insurance Companies hope for confusion and misinformation to dominate what should be a conversation on real reform. 
 
The truth is, even if President Obama wanted single payer, it would never be able to happen from the Health Care Bills in the House and Senate now.  Separate bills would have to be introduced into the House and Senate and would have to be voted on.  So some people’s boogie man theory on the Public Option somehow transforming into Single Payer is legally impossible.   Anyone who reads, writes or just plain understands bills in the House or Senate can tell you that.

The Public Option would compete with Private Health Insurance Plans, not eliminate them. 

Imagine if you have three grocery stores in your city, and they all conspire to raise the cost of bread.  Say bread was a dollar a loaf, and the grocery store made a 90 cent profit from that.  Then say all three grocery stores agreed to raise it to three dollars a loaf.  Even though the bread is the same (or getting worse if we’re comparing it to health care), you have no choice but to pay more for it.  Then every year the three grocery stores conspire to raise the cost of bread.  $4.00 dollars the next year, $5.00 the year after that, $6.00 the next year (all while the bread is getting worse).  

Then all of a sudden, a fourth grocery store comes along who is not conspiring with the others.  They charge $1.00 a loaf, and still make a healthy 90 cent profit.  Eventually word gets out, and Capitalism and competition come into effect.  People start shopping at the fourth grocer to buy the $1.00 bread because they’re no longer getting ripped off.  Sure enough, the other grocers (due to competition), have to stop ripping people off.  They now charge between $1.00 and $2.00 dollars per loaf, and still make a profit between 90 cents and $1.90.  So they’re forced to make their prices fair, or raise the quality of the product if they’re going to keep raising the price.

This makes the market fair for the customer again, all while still allowing the businesses to make profits.  But doesn’t allow them to conspire to rip people off and take advantage of them.  That, in short, is what the Public Option is.

It is not single payer; single payer would be only Government run Health Care.  A Public Option would be just like having another company out there that you could buy insurance from.  So now instead of having say three options like Cigna, Blue Cross and Wellpoint.  You’d have Cigna, Blue Cross, Wellpoint and a Public Option plan.

It will help to stop Health Insurance costs from rising every single year, which they have done in this country for decades now.  The prices are going up, even thought the actual care is getting worse.  

The quality of health care for millions of Americans insured through commercial or public plans has stopped improving for the first time in more than a decade, according to an industry accreditation group’s report issued two weeks ago.

Don’t take my word for it, check out the physical proof:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/10/22/news/economy/healthcare_insurers_reportcard/index.htm?postversion=2009102211

So Americans are paying more for Health Care, even though it is getting worse.  You cannot argue with that, it is a hard fact.

Despite us Americans paying by far the most for Health Care anywhere in the world, we have the 37th best care, according to independent non-partisan reports. 

Again, here is the hard proof that cannot be argued with:

http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html

The bottom line is, if we do nothing, the Healthcare companies have no reason to stop charging us more and more every year, for care that is actually getting worse.

 
Mark “Marky Mark” Grimaldi
Executive Producer
The Leslie Marshall Show
“The Only True Democracy In Talk Radio: Of, For and By The People

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