What Are They Afraid Of?

On my way home from work tonight I heard no less than 2 ads on the radio that opposed the so-called “public healthcare option”. Both ads made obvious attempts to scare the listener into believing that enacting competition via a government run option would result in higher fees, although it’s been shown that the opposite is true. As I listened, I could actually hear the desperation of the insurance industry being read between the lines. Why are they so afraid? This new ad featuring Heather Graham pretty much nails it:

While insurance companies may pass on increased costs to the consumer initially, there’s no doubt that over the long term they will have to trim the fat to stay competitive. Conservatives always profess their desire to have companies and individuals compete on even footing. They oppose affirmative action and equal work for equal pay regulations because “the market will take care of it.” The problem is private health insurance isn’t playing on a level field. They have anti-trust protection and have been coddled for the better part of 40 years and so they don’t have to answer to anyone. Someone has to make them sit up and play nice. Since the GOP have demonstrated they’re the poster boys for the status quo, it falls to Obama and the Democrats to get it done. I only pray they have the strength to do what’s right.


  1. If the insurance industry has anti-trust exemptions, why doesn’t anyone talk about simply taking it away? That would seem to level the playing field, introduce the possibility of innovation (where are the insurance industry equivalents of Apple and Google?) and obviate any possible need for a public option.

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