Thursday, June 25, 2009

Caring About Health Care (Profits)

In a recently released statement Cathy McMorris Rodgers claims to be concerned about your health care but not in a way that really helps people who can't afford health insurance or get dropped by their insurance company.

I believe we are facing a serious health care crisis and we must do everything we can to fix this problem. Everywhere I go I hear about the lack of doctors and nurses, the high cost of health insurance, and limited access to quality health care.

As I approach the current health care debate, I believe the most appropriate solutions should focus on making health insurance more affordable for individuals, small businesses and their employees. Tax credits and deductions can help. In rural areas especially, we need to increase the number of health care providers, with incentives and fair reimbursements for doctors and pharmacists. Finally, I believe we must empower parents to make healthy choices for their families and choose the treatments they need in consultation with a doctor they trust. I would not want anyone else deciding what doctor or treatment my son receives, and I insist that every parent have that same freedom.


Insurance companies are not competing with each other to get your business. They are primarily interested in keeping customers who generate less expense and getting rid of those who generate more. They can limit your choice as to which doctor and treatment you receive which is probably something many people are already familiar with. Tax credits and deductions for the consumer do nothing to change the insurance company's behavior. They might make it more affordable for small businesses, but really, is it going to make that much of a difference for them?

Nothing in her complete statement reflects concern with or real solutions to the dramatic effect medical costs have on the population. And she doesn't address what the people want.

She may agree that the system needs to be fixed, but her solution involves ideas that have failed us already and essentially maintains the status quo.

1 comment:

The Chihweenie said...

Yeah, I like how she uses the Frank Luntz template of calling it a "takeover" (http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/frank-luntz-the-language-of-healthcare-20091.pdf)

Also, the George Will column is spot-on in one way...ANY government option will lead to a single-payer system. And there is nothing wrong with that. The thing is that conservatives talk a lot about letting the market work itself out, but they are against a public option because they know that if there were a cheaper program out there the market will gravitate to it. As such, their only option is to prevent that public option at all costs. Once there is any form of government program some large company is going to take the plunge and once they do it will force their competitors to do the same thing, since the market will demand their competitors pass along the same increased profits. The way the argument is framed it gives tacit acknowledgement that private insurance cannot compete with a public option, which I think is overall a negative for conservatives since most of us are smart enough to know that when they say unfair competition they mean it will be cheaper than what private insurers can provide. It is fun to watch both sides fight it out, but I fear for the results since the stakes are so high.