Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is Obama Backing Down on the Public Healthcare Option?

Sweden's healthcare system, which is a public insurance program that covers every man, woman, and child, delivers care to all and is far less expensive.

The following is an excerpt of an exchange between a HuffPo writer and administration officials on the discussions going on between the healthcare industry and the Obama Administration:

Bellows: "I have two questions. The first is following up on Michael Fletcher's and Eliza Marcus' questions: is the President still insistent that a public health plan will be among the options offered to people, or is that a bargaining chip in any way? And the second question, following up on Andrew Beatty's: is it correct that the cost per capita will still increase, just not as much as it previously was projected to?

Senior Administration Official #1: "On the second question, the answer to that is yes. Again, what we're talking about here is reducing the growth rate, so yes, health care costs, you should anticipate health care costs will continue to rise, but achieving a slowdown in the rate at which they increase is a, would be a huge accomplishment in terms of freeing up resources for other priorities and in terms of relieving pressure on the federal budget."

Senior Administration Official #2 on questions one: "On the public plan, this event with the President tomorrow is not about the public plan, we've had no discussion with this group about the public plan, in fact, if I look at the list of trade associations that are part of this, there are different views about it, but the President likes the public plan, it's part of his campaign platform."

The healthcare public option, as Howard Dean and others have noted, is really the "only way to guarentee healthcare for all Americans." Private insurance companies are wasteful and inefficient by nature -- they spend useless money on trying to deny you care, advertising, and profit -- and only a public, Medicare-style option that will be far more efficient can really affordably provide care for all.

If Obama backs down on the public option, the chances of ever moving to an efficient, French or Australian style Medicare-for-all system will be little to none. We have more progressives in Congress now than we ever have had, and if we don't do it now, there's a chance we'll never be able to do it.

Sign Howard Dean's petition and tell Congress you won't support any healthcare "reform" that doesn't include the public insurance option. It's time for us to take profit out of health insurance. It has no place being there.