Another ill-informed conservative argument on health care reform

August 15, 2009 | By | Reply More

Caroline Baum, a columnist for Bloomberg News, had this to say in an August 12 column about health care reform:

Take the issue of a public option. How can the private insurance industry survive with a not-for-profit government plan charging a pittance?

Ms. Baum has overlooked some basic facts that would undermine this claim. Namely, in America, there are public universities competing with private universities, public hospitals competing with private hospitals, public libraries competing with private bookstores, and a public post office competing with private package delivery companies. To cite an even more obvious example, there are already public, not-for-profit government plans like Medicare competing with private insurers. Even in Europe, where most countries already offer universal public health coverage, private insurers still operate.

In none of these instances has the public alternative put private competitors out of business. Why on earth would this suddenly change if the U.S. Congress created a public health insurance option?

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Category: American Culture, Health, Media, Politics

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I'm an author, skeptic and computer programmer living in New York City. I'm also an unapologetic atheist, and believe passionately that freethinkers deserve a much stronger voice in our culture than they've been given in the past. Since politicians and the mainstream media aren't willing to give us that, it falls to us to take our case directly to the public. Both on my own weblog, Daylight Atheism, and here on Dangerous Intersection, I hope to be able to spread the good news of freethought!

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