I don’t know. I’m afraid the debate is over. Here’s the chief industry lobbyist:
Karen Ignagni, president and chief executive of the America’s Health Insurance Plans industry group, argued that the private insurance marketplace needs new rules – but not necessarily a public competitor. Major insurers in the AHIP trade group include Aetna Inc. (AET), Humana Inc. (HUM), Cigna Corp. (CI) and UnitedHealth Group (UNH).
“We’re not asking any individual to trust us,” Ignagni said. “We’re asking them to trust the government.”
Of course. Trust the government which created the financial miracle of Medicare and Medicaid. The health insurance industry thinks that’s our best option.
I do agree trusting the government will cement the future revenues of the largest health care insurers as corporatist welfare bums at the expense of competition, innovation, and quality of and access to care. I also admit that if an industry spokesperson makes such a comment, the government is ipso facto relatively more trustworthy than are her constituents.
On the whole, though, I’d prefer more options. On their records, the coupling of the biggest health insurance companies with the biggest government bureaucracy just doesn’t jump out at me as the obvious cost-effective solution.
And it’s not as if there isn’t a private industry example upon which to draw. Couldn’t Obama at least take advantage of Rick Waggoner’s expertise in running a health care administration company? I hear Rick is available.