Skip to main content

View Diary: When I couldn't afford to call 911 (192 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  The central problem with a private-only system (0+ / 0-)

    is that it seeks, out of an understandable desire to maximize its profit, and is able, due to its political clout and the lack of a public alternative and government mandates, to exclude the poorest, because they can't pay in to justify the additional marginal risk that they represent, and the sickest, because they collect more than they pay in. It's basic risk management in a profit-based context, which the private sector cannot and will not fix on its own. Either the government forces it to insure everyone regardless of ability to pay and health status (and then actually cover people even if it's costly and inconvenient), or else it offers its own alternative as a public option (which if it covers everyone by default becomes single payer). There is simply no other viable option.

    Underregulated private insurers simply cannot and will not, ever, cover everyone, let alone cover all of them adequately, especially those who currently cannot afford or otherwise obtain private insurance, and have the greatest medical needs. This is one sector whose needs the "free market" simply cannot meet, and never will. But unlike digital TV's, iPods and even cars, everyone needs, and deserves to have, access to decent health care. What kind of society doesn't accept that as a basic premise and do its best to meet it? It's surreal that we're still debating this as a society. And if one isn't persuaded by the moral argument, it's important to remember that the economic costs of not insuring everyone far outweigh the costs of doing so. Health care for all isn't just a moral right. It's the smart thing to do, economically.

    Just make it happen already!

    "Reagan's dead, and he was a lousy president!" -- Keith Olbermann 4/22/09

    by kovie on Thu Jun 18, 2009 at 08:54:21 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site