I have been watching hours of debate over health care and am trying to come to terms with the assertion that a public option will somehow reduce the cost of coverage.
There is all sorts of talk about cutting costs, eliminating waste, eradicating greed and using the proceeds to pay for health insurance for all.
Insurance companies are being villified. Well, which ones ? Are the local agents who sell the plans also evil ? Are third party administrators also ripping people off ?
How about this cost of care. If costs are to be cut which employees at Samaritan will be let go ? Which ones will get pay cuts or fewer weeks vacation ?
Who are the local doctors who are overcharging and need to be reighned in ?
If there is a "public option" competing with the private insurers, will government employees lead the way by switching to the public plan ? Will that be mandated in order to provide a ready flow of customers ?
Medical is the fastest growing component in local government budgets, so why wouldn't local lawmakers off-load the cost and undertainty ? Pay the proposed 8% penalty and get rid of a lot of grief.
But wait, that kind of change is the subject of mandatory collective bargaining in this state. Would those unions and their members be the first to jump into a federal single payer system ? Or would they refuse ?
Now all of this relies on higher marginal income tax rates for the well-to-do, a.k.a. doctors and administrators. Won't they want to be paid more to make up for the higher taxes ?
Isn't the delivery of health care in NY already regulated ? A hospital cannot open or provide a service without a determination on need by the state. Will the federal government replicate all of this in order to achieve all this efficiency?
There are so many questions, and the answers lead to more questions. I suppose changes are needed, but who among us knows what they are.