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Agree with all of your points and frustrations, Jay
Only difference is how I see it is what the government's role in changing the current situation could be.
Right now, our health care is being run by a for-profit free enterprise system, and while we have mentioned some of the good things that can be said for it, such as we have the best medical care in the world for people who can pay for it, it isn't working for those who can't
And it will continue that way unless something is done, because what's been happening is that those companies are using their profits and power to actually control what happens in Washington, rather than the other way around.
Their lobbyists, the money they spend on media control, the fact that companies like GE that are heavily involved in the medical industry can and do literally OWN television networks like NBC, MSNBC, CNBC...
So whenever they see a new law or proposal coming down the turnpike that they don't like, they use some of their massive profits to fight the legislation, send their lobbyists to Washington, who then give money to the campaigns of our elected "representatives" who support them and withhold contributions to those who don't, (there are currently SIX lobbyists for every ONE representative in Congress) that and how they subtly and not-so-subtly have an influence on the media, to control how we citizens perceive what's going on
they cite cherry-picked statistics to support their claims, by so-called non-partisan consulting firms like The Lewin Group, which is actually owned by United Health Care
So how can our country get out from being controlled by these private companies?
We can't legislate it, we can't just say to them that they must give up their profits, we can't say they must start for instance covering people with pre-existing conditions, we can't say they MUST give expensive operations to those who need it
Because if we did, they'd just use their monopolistic position to find other ways to protect their profits, raise premiums, invent new rules to deny coverage, charge more administration fees, create more loopholes, etc. And if the regulation really was written so carefully, so restrictively, that they couldn't make the kind of money that they now make, they could just go out of business, no law could prevent that!
So that's why I think the best proposal is one that creates COMPETITION to their stranglehold, one that uses some of our taxpayer money to support it, that way when the public option becomes a better deal for many Americans than private insurance, those companies will have to adjust their ways of doing business, or risk losing their customers completely, and therefore their profits..
And I totally agree with you regarding the Baucus Bill that is the one that is getting support in congress, it requires that everyone must purchase insurance, and those that don't are forced to pay a penalty, a horrible idea that would only guarantee profits to health care companies, and put many poor families into MORE debt, and give them no coverage at all.