I just had this vision in my brain about an imaginary smoky room somewhere in the past… Reeve
The conversation dies down as the leader takes his seat at the table. He asks “So do we have a plan to take this over yet?”
“The only way we figure we can get a single payer system in this country for Health Care is to take on the insurance industry directly. But they are very powerful, so we will have to be sneaky about it.”
“OK, so whats the plan?”
“Our best bet is to slowly kill the industry, and not make it obvious who is doing it. We pass a law that sounds real good in the press. We make it real long and complicated so that no one reads it. Inside we hide a couple of things.
“First, we make sure that the insurance companies cannot make much of a profit – if they make a profit we make them give it back. People will love that!
“Next, we make the regulations so tight that it reduces members choice – forcing a lot of hospitals and doctors to not accept the insurance plans. At the same time we reduce the amount the government pays the Doctors and Hospitals. And we make the regulation almost impossible to understand, much less comply with.
“We then make a big public show of requiring employers to offer coverage, and penalize them if they don’t meet incredibly complicated rules….
The boss interrupts -“Wait right there – we cannot afford to take on employers – big employers are big supporters of us…”
“… yes, I understand. You see, we make the fines less than they are paying for health insurance now! That way they can walk away from health insurance, saving money at the same time, and reducing their overhead. They’ll love it…”
“OK, go on.
“Last – and the best part – is we force competition on our terms. Make any company that wants to stay in business participate in a government-run shopping system – we can call it an exchange, or marketplace, something snazzy. But, really, we control the plans offered, the pricing, the benefits. We make everyone join, but they are joining something we control.
“Its Brilliant! What do we call it – I know, How about Health Care Reform”
“But boss, it doesn’t fix health care – it doesn’t address fraud, malpractice, tort reform, health care claim inflation, Prescription costs, R&D expenses, unnecessary testing and a bunch of other things. And it will most certainly raise prices?
“Shhhhhh. Don’t ever tell anyone that, OK?”