Friday, November 26, 2010

My health care 101 lecture to a conservative letter writer

I respond to another of the tired and tedious "Obama's health care is socialism " conservative letters. The writer had compared Obama's health care plan with that of Britain's.
My response:

Valerie Wanket's letter on Nov. 18 said the recent health care law would mirror Britain's system if not repealed. This is a typical, but misguided, conservative analysis of the health care bill. Actually, the two systems have almost nothing in common.

The recent law passed in America provides for an expansion of private insurance through subsidies and an individual mandate requiring Americans to carry private health insurance. It is very different than the British system, which provides universal coverage through government control of doctors, drug companies and hospitals. There is no role for private insurance companies in this system. Such a system has almost no chance of becoming law in America, for good or bad, due to the influence of the insurance and drug companies in our political campaigns.

Ms. Wanket and her fellow conservative letter writers can breathe easy — American health insurance companies are doing fine, even after the passage of the supposedly socialistic "Obamacare." Aetna said its third-quarter net income jumped 53 percent over the same period last year, to $497.6 million. See "Health insurers sit pretty at their customers' expense," by David Lazarus, Nov. 9, www.latimes.com, for more good news for the insurance industry. (I personally don't understand why conservatives and libertarians are so concerned about their welfare, but I'll leave that question for another time).

Jack Davis

Her paragraph that I objected to:

If the health care bill is not repealed, it will mirror the United Kingdom's health care and all of its problems. Be assured President Obama, Pelosi and Harry Reid will not have the same care. When Obama said in one of his speeches that he preferred a single-payer plan, was Ms. Landis listening?

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