Stormy, well written and concise.

I will dispute one figure. That is the profit margins. They are slightly higher than 3.3%. This article from Associated Press [Associated Press Article] states they are around 6% (give or take a point or two). Disappointing is the comment about give or take a point or two in that they didn't list the margins on the biggest (by revenue perhaps) insurers. Therefore, one must assume that the average profit margin is higher than 3.3%. This in my opinion is not excessive. However, I'm sure opinions vary. There is another article (still the AP source) [Additional AP Article] which starts out "Quick quiz: What do these enterprises have in common? Farm and construction machinery, Tupperware, the railroads, Hershey sweets, Yum food brands and Yahoo? Answer: They're all more profitable than the health insurance industry."

The other figures in your reply I cannot verify or dispute.

I, too, have seen the combination of a government option and a penalty as a way to siphon folks from private insurance to public insurance. One preliminary figure thrown out there was that employers would be hit with a $750 per employee penalty for not providing insurance to that employee. I thought to myself...are you joking? That's a complete no-brainer. Even the 8% penalty might be rather attractive as Chris pointed out (no need to administrate it, shop for insurance, etc.).

Also, regarding that opt out clause. That has me a little puzzle and I see it as self-defeating for what was trying to be accomplished. It also leaves me wondering if D.C. will "opt out". I've (secretly) said to myself regarding this whole health care thing that if it is good enough for the American public then it is surely good enough for the legislators that created and passed any health insurance reform. There's no way that they would not choose to take advantage of this health insurance reform by continuing to keep what insurance they already have, is there? What's good for the goose is good for the gander, right? Equality for all, right? Just that some animals...I mean people are more equal than others. Yeah, right.

Kind Regards,

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom. - Aldous Huxley

Was the government to prescribe to us our medicine and diet, our bodies would be in such keeping as our souls are now. - Thomas Jefferson