Posts Tagged 'non-profit co-ops'

What health care reform?

At first I thought it was some clever ploy.

Orchestrated by those who understand the problem and the solution.

Here’s what we’ll do, they said.  We’ll float the idea of “single-payer”.   We’ll get the insurance companies, drug companies and other assorted political contributors to wail, moan and decry the takeover of health care by the inefficient socialists who run government.

We’ll repeat, over and over, that health care in the U.S. is half again as costly as any other civilized country, produces no better results, and fails to provide adequate care to one out of seven of its citizens.

We’ll wait for the insurance companies, right-wing broadcasters and their political base to wage class warfare by spending oodles on TV ads that encourage their constituents to wreak havoc at any meeting where the subject is raised.

We’ll bide our time.

Then, at the right moment, we’ll pretend to understand the righteousness of their arguments, the religious fervor behind their rantings…and cave in.

We’ll roll out the “public option” as a reasonable alternative to “single payer.”  They’ll smile broadly, be thankful they’ve convinced us, and congratulate themselves for bringing us to our knees.

That’s the way it was supposed to work.

So what happened?

We get a thousand page bill from the House and a bunch of works-in-progress from the Senate.  So, nobody knows what health care reform really means.  And, the don’t touch my Medicare, don’t kill my granny  folks can pick, choose and distort without fear of retribution.

We split the Democratic super-majority in two.

We get a president who, despite being a really nice guy, tries to convince folks that they shouldn’t worry about a health care reform bill that’s smoke and mirrors, subject to negotiation, amendment, and tailoring to suit every player in the health care industry, including veterinarians and psychic healers.

And so where are we now?

We get to enroll the fifty million uninsured with the very same insurance companies that manage the mess we call health care.  A financial bonanza.

We get to form local, non-profit co-ops that will negotiate with health care providers.  With the same, elegant success achieved by Blue Cross, Aetna, and Mutual of Omaha.  A been-there-done-that encore for those who, ignoring history, are sure to repeat it.

We get to watch the share of GNP spent on health care move ever upward.

We get to watch everything else get short-changed.

We get to see business as usual.

We get what we deserve.

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