Monday, May 18, 2009

Giving away the store

Robert Reich thinks Obama is giving away the store on universal health care:
On the campaign trail, Barack Obama pushed a compromise -- a universal health plan that would include a "public insurance option" resembling Medicare...

But now the Medicare-like option is being taken off the table. ... One [alternative approach] would create a public insurance plan run by multiple regional third-party administrators. In other words, the putative "public plan" would be broken into little pieces, none of which could exert much bargaining leverage on Big Pharma and Big Insurance. ...

Another approach... would have states create their own insurance plans. That's even worse: Big Pharma and Big Insurance are used to buying off state legislators and officials. They'd just continue their current practices.

A third option is to create a public plan that pays for itself and, according to the office of Senator Charles Schumer, who came up with it, "adheres to private-insurance rules." But adhering to private insurance rules is exactly what the public plan is not supposed to do.
I heard the refrain constantly during the campaign: Obama might not be "perfect" but he'll at least give us universal health care.

Well, we still have "hope and change": If you get sick, stand on a street corner and hope passers-by give you some change.

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