This started as a response to Kitsap River's excellent diary, but as usual when commenting on someone else's diary, I developed diarrhea of the word processor. Since my Kaiser plan doesn't cover that, I brought it here.
One of the best arguments I can think of in favor or single-payer UHC is the one the right-wing free-marketeers drag out all the time: No business entity is, itself, entitled to exist or to be profitable in the first place. The "hand of the market" determines which businesses survive and which fail.
Sounds great to the laissez-faire crowd, when Wal-Mart swoops into a town and wipes out half the other businesses. But apply the same allegedly axiomatic principle to for-profit health care insurance corporations, and watch their heads explode.
Say a government-run single-payer system effectively "enters the marketplace" by popular decree. Isn't that, too, the "hand of the market" at work? Big HMO failed to supply that which the market (the consuming public) demanded - affordable, high quality, easily accessed healthcare delivery. It's not like they didn't have a chance to supply it, or decades to figure out how. It's that they chose not to, because profit rules all. And now that decision making is coming home to roost. Having exhausted their options with existing suppliers of healthcare, the market (us) is finally turning to the government to make it work.
I'd say it's fair to characterize this shift in public sentiment as the last, desperate resort of a market pent-up with demand, which the existing private suppliers were simply unwilling to satisfy on the market's terms.
In all other circumstances, where existing suppliers who fail to keep up with demand while remaining profitable are shoved out of business by those who do, this is regarded as normal and natural, exactly as predicted by the wannabe Adam Smiths among us.
But not this time - oh, heavens no! What about the corporations? Don't they get a seat at the table in this? They won't be able to compete! That's not fair!
No private business, no collection of businesses, and no industry has any inherent, inalienable, God-given right to be profitable, or even to exist in the first place. What they have is a right to TRY. If the market needs what they are supplying, at the price they are offering, they will succeed. If not, they will go under. And according to the free market GOPers, that's the way of the world, just as it should be.
I hope to be able to look back at the end of a first Obama term, look a winger straight in the eye and say...
"The free market has spoken. Sorry about your Pacificare shares. Told you to invest in the green energy sector."