Problem is ‘private option’

If ever there was an argument for strong government action to guarantee health care for all it is the outrageous threat by the insurance industry that it will massively increase premium rates if it does not get its way on the health care bills now before Congress.

In a last-minute attempt to derail health care reform the industry released an already discredited report warning that average family premiums will go up by $21,300 if even the woefully inadequate Senate Finance Committee bill is adopted.

The outfit commissioned to write the report has already backed off its own findings, saying it was instructed by the industry to discount from its considerations the parts of the bill that would save money for consumers.

As if that fraud were not enough the insurers are out with their own version of the “death panel” scare, telling seniors in TV ads that they will lose Medicare benefits if health care reform is enacted. (Reform would cut the profits they currently suck out of Medicare.)

These moves by the insurers are the best argument that can be made for a bigger rather than smaller government role in health care.

The insurance companies think they have thrown down the gauntlet. What they have actually done, however, is make the argument for why, at the very least, we need a plan that includes a strong public option and, even better, a single-payer plan that would eliminate the insurance vultures altogether.

Our representatives in government must respond to this bullying and stop feeding a parasitic industry whose only function is to profit from the people’s pain and suffering.

It should be clear to everyone, by now, that the problem here is the private option, not the public option. For-profit insurers are what’s wrong with our present health care system. What we need now is strong government action and regulation to rein them in. And if they don’t heed the people’s will, then a “Medicare for all” plan should be enacted.




PW Editorial Board
PW Editorial Board

People’s World editorial board: Editor-in-Chief John Wojcik,  Managing Editor C.J. Atkins, Copy Editor Eric A. Gordon, Washington D.C. Bureau Chief Mark Gruenberg, Social Media Editor Chauncey K. Robinson, Senior Editor Roberta Wood, Senior Editor Joe Sims