Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Missing His Own Lesson

Obama in Portsmouth on the Government Insurance option.

Now, the only thing that I have said is that having a public option in that menu would provide competition for insurance companies to keep them honest. Now, I recognize, though, you make a legitimate -- you raise a legitimate concern. People say, "Well, how can a private company compete against the government?" And my answer is that if the insurance -- private insurance companies are providing a good bargain, and if the public option has to be self-sustaining -- meaning, taxpayers aren't subsidizing it, but it has to run on charging premiums, and providing good services and a good network of doctors just like any other private insurer would do, then I think private insurers should be able to compete. They do it all the time.


I mean, if you think about it, you know, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine, right? No, they are. I mean, it's the post office that's always having problems. So, right now, you've got private insurers who are out there competing effectively even though a lot of people get their care through Medicare, or Medicaid, or the VA. So, there's nothing inevitable about this somehow destroying the private marketplace as long as -- and this is a legitimate point that you're raising -- that it's not set up where the government is basically being subsidized by the taxpayers. So that even if they're not providing a good deal, we keep on having to pony out more and more money. And I've already said that can't be the way the public option is set up.

OBAMA: It has to be self-sustaining.

So does he really want to use the USPS as an example of a program that competes with private enterprise? I can see his point in a twisted sort of way, that private health insurace should be able to compete against the governments plan, but what about those people who don't get the choice? If your company dumps your insurance policy and you can't get a non-government plan what are you getting? And how would a government plan save the economy and help the deficit if it works as well as the postal service?

1 comment:

Granted said...

Not to mention the fact that Fedex & UPS, by LAW, do not compete with the USPS. They are not allowed to get into the general mail business. They are only permitted shipping & processing of packages. Yes, they've found a way to make those packages almost the same as letters, but they're not exactly the same because... they can't. By law, they're not allowed to compete in the mail business with the USPS.

Taking the comparison to insurance companies, what do you think is going to happen? What do you think is in the plan, written or unwritten?

It's all smoke & mirrors so that he can do what he said he wants to do, put in a single payer system. That's what he said in front of a friendly audience. That's where the truth comes out. I trust his statements in front of friendly audiences, not the ones in front of general audiences.