Bloomfield Life

A Government-Run Health Care Plan Is Essential

Bloomfield Life — Thursday, September 10, 2009

TO THE EDITOR

A government-run health care plan — a "public option" — is essential to provide quality, affordable health care for all while holding down costs.

Don't pay attention to the insurance- and "conservative"-funded falsehoods!

Unless they have to compete with a low-cost government or "public" plan, private insurance companies will have no incentive to provide quality health insurance at the lowest possible cost.

For most of us, private health insurance alone doesn't and can't work, as Paul Krugman explains in his July 30 column "Health Care Realities" (To easily find this and other Krugman columns on health care go to his "unofficial" page at http://www.pkarchive.org/ ).

Countries like France and Switzerland have universal quality health care and private insurance with strong government regulation. To see how this works, read Krugman's column "The Swiss Menace" of August 16).

If some private health insurers cannot compete with a government plan, no problem: They will just stop selling health insurance.

All industrialized countries except the United States provide universal, high-quality health care to all their residents. This is only possible because of strong government regulation and/or government-run programs.

So why do so many television commentators, Republicans, and "conservatives" scream that government should stay out of health care? They are being paid off by the insurance and drug industries, whose obscene profits would be reduced if real competition in health care existed.

And that competition can only come from a "public option." No good for insurance and drug companies (and the greedy among physicians). But good for the rest of us.

Grover Furr
Bloomfield

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