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View Diary: The Public Option IS Hope... Kill the Hope, Lose the Voters (96 comments)

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  •  Sample letter to Congress (3+ / 0-)

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         Dear Senator/ Congressmember,

         Both the Senate and the House versions of upcoming health care legislation contain insurance mandates -- intended to force people to buy health insurance.

         Without an affordable public option, available to everyone on the day the mandates are to become law, there will simply be no cost containment for health care in America.  All of the inside-the-beltway talk of "alternatives" to an affordable public option is an exercise in evasion.

         We know, for instance, from the PNHP report on Massachusetts' health care system ( ), that Massachusetts' insurance mandates have only managed to INCREASE health care costs for its residents.

         The health insurance industry claims that it only ekes out a 3% profit margin on its product.  This is because it uses accounting tricks to disguise administrative costs as actual health care costs.  The real truth is to be found in the statistics on medical loss ratios, which reveal up to 40% profits for an industry which denies (on average) 22% of insurance claims.

         About 60% of all bankruptcies involve medical expenses, and more than three-quarters of those declaring bankruptcy had medical insurance.

         The public option is essential to cost containment because, without it, there will be no economically-stable entity, responsible to the taxpaying consumers, which will provide insurance at competitive rates.   Passing a bill with insurance mandates, without creating a public option for everyone, will solve none of the problems associated with health insurance in America.  The bankruptcies will continue, the denials will continue, the rates will continue to be unaffordable, and there will continue to be large numbers of people without health insurance.  Read the report on the Massachsetts plan linked above -- that's what it will tell you.

         To be sure, private insurance mandates will do something -- they'll fatten insurance industry coffers while angering an enormous cross-section of the American public.  This anger, to be aure, will be directed first at the legislators who passed the mandates.  

         In short, if you want to pass effective health insurance reform, you will either 1) pass a bill with an affordable public health coverage option, available to everyone on day one of the mandates, or 2) pass a bill without insurance mandates.

         The voters of California, Senator/ Congressmember, are waiting for you to make a statement which will unequivocally support a public option, or reject insurance mandates.  We are also waiting for your Senate votes, which should reflect the priorities I just outlined.  The only remaining question is: do you have the courage to do just this?



    "You are a fluke of the universe/ You have no right to be here" -- from "Deteriorata"

    by Cassiodorus on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 02:36:26 PM PDT

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