Why We Need a Public Health-Care Plan
Robert Reich, former Secretary of Labor under President Clinton wrote an interesting piece about the public health insurance option for the Wall Street Journal in which he nails big-insurance, big-pharma, and the American Medical Association for protecting the status quo.
Of course, they don’t want it. A public option would squeeze their profits and force them to undertake major reforms. That’s the whole point.
He goes on to point out that in a capitalistic system, a public health care option is exactly what we need to spur innovation and lower costs. One by one, he picks apart the common arguments against a public option: it’s government mandated health care, it has an unfair advantage due to economies of scale and lower administrative costs, it’s a not-for-profit competing in a for-profit market and so on.
If we hope to reign in health care costs, we must include a public option as part of the reform.
Yet without a public option, the other parties that comprise America’s non-system of health care — private insurers, doctors, hospitals, drug companies, and medical suppliers — have little or no incentive to supply high-quality care at a lower cost than they do now.