Thursday, August 20, 2009

Health Care Without A Public Option

Of all the things we can disagree with Pat Buchanan with, this might seem minor. Still, Buchanan's opinion about the strategy of Democrats toward health care reform is characteristic of that of the mainstream media. On Hardball on Monday, August 17 Buchanan asked "how liberal Democrats," faced with the loss of a public option,

are going to vote against something like that, which does 60 percent of what they want done. How can you vote against this?

Why would someone oppose a bil which "does 60 percent of what they want done?"

Hopefully, you're tired, even aggravated, at sports analogies. So here is another one:

The offensive coordinator of the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers, Bruce Arians, calls for a long pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to Santonio Holmes, Super Bowl MVP. The offensive line does its job marvelously, keeping a great Indianapolis Colts pass rush from getting close to the quarterback. Holmes runs a great pattern, somehow getting ten yards of separation between himself and the Colts' cornerback. And then Roethlisberger's pass falls.... ten yards short.

Theoretically, it was the right call in the situation, the Colts' defense sufficiently surprised that little pass rush was mounted and the lone defender (Holmes would have been double-teamed if the defense expected the ball to go that way) not getting near the receiver. The receiver got open, way open, making him an easy target for the quarterback. Several things were done right.... except that the quarterback made a bad pass, which thereupon was intercepted. The offense got almost everything it wanted- and the play severely backfired.

Sixty percent? The offense got more than sixty percent what it wanted, and it would have been better off doing almost anything else.

Now consider health care reform those in the know believe the left should roll over and accept. Mandatory health coverage- check. No discrimination against anyone with a pre-existing health condition- check. But a public option, being very controversial, is dropped. What do we have?

A vastly increased demand, probably around 40 million souls, would be covered by health care. Individuals with a pre-existing health condition now would gain health insurance. Pretty good so far.

These people would be very expensive to insure, which is why health insurance companies assiduously avoid them now. But under the reform plan which Buchanan, and so many others inside the Beltway, believe liberals should be thankful for, they would be covered. By health insurance companies which would pass some of the individual cost off on the relatively healthy segment of the population. (Otherwise, those with the pre-existing condition likely could not afford the coverage; hence, contrary to law, would not be covered.) And there are a lot more people the private companies get to insure. Vastly increased demand in a health insurance market with little competition in any one geographical area. Demand up, supply flat. You know the rest.

Load up on those health insurance stocks!

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