Monday, August 3, 2009

"What's In It for Me"

Did you know that the insurance companies are to blame? That's the current tactic for President Obama and Nancy Pelosi as they try to rescue their floundering plan for a government takeover of health care.

According to Sheryl Gay Stolberg and David M. Herszenhorn at The New York Times:

Congressional Democrats and leading advocacy groups are laying the groundwork for an August offensive against the insurance industry as part of a coordinated campaign to sell the public on the need for reform.

It's a cunning ploy. Having got the insurance companies more or less on board, now the politicians decide to box them in on the last lap.

The administration's problem is that there is nothing in the current plan for the average American. Almost all Americans have health insurance. So the Dems are going to insist that the evil insurance companies remove their limitations on pre-existing conditions. Says David Axelrod: "Our job is to help folks understand how this will help them." As the Times as it:

With Republicans making headway by casting the legislation as a costly government takeover, Democrats have decided they must answer the question on the minds of those now insured: “What’s in it for me?”

The joke is: How can it possibly be the fault of the insurance companies? They are just about the most regulated industry in the United States. Whatever they do must already have the imprimatur of government.

Still, I heard from two different people over the last week about the perfidy of the insurance companies, so the Democrats must be on to something.

But hey! If we want to stop the insurance companies from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, let's do it!

But here's another idea. Let's do the opposite. Let us permit the insurance companies to offer any kind of policy they want, without the inclusions that politicians force them to include. Then people could buy simple insurance against big, but unusual, risks, and pay for day-to-day care out of pocket.

I know. Dream on.

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