Thursday, September 10, 2009


“To my progressive friends, I would remind you that for decades the driving force behind reform has been to end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable to those without it,” he said. “The public option is only a means to that end—and we should remain open to other ideas that accomplish that goal.”

President Obama

Oh really, Mr. President? How very telling and explanatory when one stops to consider the current morass of the health reform debate.

President Obama’s characterization of the entire impulse of health care reform as an attempt to merely end insurance company abuses and make coverage affordable preserves the primacy of insurance companies and sees as central the profit motive of those companies…just don’t make the cost too dear, please. It helps explain why single-payer gets scant attention, dismissed as being too disruptive to those already insured. What? This doesn’t square with the President’s own claims about the driving force of the debate. How would a system that would drive down the costs of the insurance companies making insurance overall more affordable be, at the same time, disruptive? This is to say nothing of providing universal coverage.

As far the ideal of universal coverage, I’d like to remind President Obama that it is this ideal—not narrow business interests, not a tweaking of insurance company procedures and practices—that has been the driving force of the health-care reform debate. Furthermore, it is in pursuit of universal health care coverage where the character and morals of our country that Senator Kennedy spoke of reside.


anno said...

Except for my fundamental problem with the whole concept of insurance or any so-called risk-mitigation strategy, and the fact that any kind of insurance program tends to escalate costs, depersonalize care, and diminish choices -- and how can it be otherwise? If someone else is paying for your care, they're going to have a say in it -- I agree with you: if there's going to be an insurance system in this country, it needs to be universal, single payer. It's not the first time the president has waffled on principle.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'm just sick at heart. Why do Americans think they're so special that what works relatively well in so many of our "peer" countries can't work here?

Does universal healthcare work perfectly in any country? No. Does our current system work well? Emphatically NO. Therein lies the difference.

birdman said...

Well said. The president lost control of the debate on health care almost from the beginning when he gave away the "public option." I agree that the purpose of reform should have been framed as a moral right to health care. When you switch it to curbing insurance company abuses, you automatically rule out anything that might be adverse to insurance companies being in the mix. They do provide health care. They are no essential. When you remove the middleman, things get cheaper, and often better. When are no going to be stuck with Reform UltraLight. Prez blew it!