Friday, July 20, 2007

Health Care to Die For

In my previous post I noted NPRs championing of union concessions. They point out that a major problem for labor and management in the US is the skyrocketing price of health insurance. I know I pay $7000 a year for a mediocre 80/20 family, group plan with $20 office co-pays. Personally, I'd rather be paying that money in taxes for a single payer plan (Ooops, single payer plan is a bad word on NPR News) that would benefit everyone.

This morning NPR takes on the Health Care crisis, and as you might guess they focus on reform that would preserve the health insurance industry. I don't dispute that this is a position that one can argue for or against. What is incredible is that no serious attention is given to eliminating the insurance industry and going for a single payer national health care system.

The only person NPR sees fit to talk to is Len Nichols of the firmly pro-establishment New America Foundation. If you look at the Health Policy Program page of the NAF (which Nichols is the director of) you'll see that their recommendation is for
"the Program promotes a mandatory, citizen-based approach to health insurance that, combined with credible cost containment measures, can ensure universal coverage and enhance America’s long-term economic and social well-being."
"Mandatory" means you have to buy it just like car insurance. The way premiums have been going, I can just see those insurance executives rubbing their hands.

What's with NPR? Is it so hard to talk to articulate advocates for a single payer system. Maybe they are afraid it will kill them or the corporations that sponsor them...

1 comment:

larry, dfh said...

The argument for mandatory auto insurance is that driving is a Privilege, not a right. Apparently for NPR having medical care is a privilege, and not a right. Forcing citizens to subscribe to private entities is fascism, plain and simple. Robert Reich was plugging this shit several months ago. We had a brief e-mail exchange wherein he brought up: you pay for police protection. Well, that's part of government, paid by taxes.
Yesterday I saw somewhere in the internet some insurance industry released figures (I don't trust them, anyway) showing about 80% of their premiums went toward claims, down 2% this year. Social security works at 98%. Insurance is just such a mafia-loaded word.