Rigging the health care debate
I’ve been getting reminder after reminder about this event on April 24th in a Durham convention center hosted by that well-known consulting firm Deloitte and Touche. Apparently, they don’t just do consulting, but under director of their Chairman (and now Republican presidential candidate) Tommy Thompson, they now want to host serious discussions on how to fix the health care system.
Deloitte’s sudden attack of public-spiritedness would have nothing to do with Thompson’s desire to be president of course, but I do think it really cheapens the health debate. Private companies can and should come to the table to really discuss health reform but, scratch the surface, and you can see that – surprise, surprise – Deloitte is firmly in the conservative free-market-solves-everything camp.
One example – their paper on how great “consumer-driven” health plans are (that’s basically a catastrophic health plan with you holding the bag for the first $3 to $5 grand of your health care costs) is one clue. These plans are great for healthy folks and, with special tax breaks, people in higher tax brackets, but not for anyone else. It’s the sort of thing gleefully cited by the Bush White House, despite heavy criticism.
Finally, the worst of it is that by headlining speakers not only from Deloitte and NC Blue Cross (you know where they are on this stuff) but from groups like UNC Hospitals and a religious medical ministry, they are attempting to show how “balanced” they are.
Unfortunately, my guess is there is only one conclusion coming out of this great discussion, and Deloitte’s already printed it in bold: “A free market economy will solve most health care challenges.”
Yeah, right – it’s done a great job so far. Don’t bother going to this thing – the fix is in.