Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stop "Health Insurance" Profiteering Now! - by: Tom Hayes

1 in 6 Americans are uninsured and millions more are under-insured, yet lobbyists try to convince Congress and the media that health insurance companies are the best way to provide affordable health care to America. If the President's plan is changed to exclude an option similar to Medicare, health care in this country remains mired in the hands of insurance profiteers.

A public, single-payer option is the way to guarantee health care for all Americans. Insurance companies are in it for profit - that's what business does. Our big mistake thus far has been expecting them to behave altruistically. Where is their motive? It's on the bottom line.

New legislation without a single-payer "public" option is no longer a viable choice. Let people keep the for-profit coverage if they already have it, but a public health care option is overdue. Of course, competition should force private industry to provide better service at lower costs, but it still doesn't force them to help the uninsured.

To date, the private, for-profit payment systems have enriched a few large corporations while leaving millions of average Americans one illness or injury away from medical bankruptcy. The system is broken; it's a mass of red-tape, with medical decisions in the hands of bureaucrats instead of doctors. We spend more per capita on health care than any other nation, but our results leave a lot to be desired.

Let's pass the President's plan and move on to tackle the other thorny issues of our time: education and the economy.

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