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Fascist medicine

Posted by Richard on August 20, 2009

Bob Bidinotto sees right through the Senate's "co-op alternative" to the much-reviled "public option":

Understand that the “co-op” would be funded by the government (i.e., the taxpayers). More importantly, to get admission into the co-op, insurers would have to abide by the new governmental regulations regarding coverage, treatments, premiums, etc.

… This is no liberal “retreat” from governmental health care. The new “co-op” is explicitly intended to be “a competitor to private insurers.” While ObamaCare would inject this new government entity into the healthcare marketplace, it simultaneously would:
1. Impose onerous, costly new mandates on private insurers

2. Mandate participation by unwilling individuals and small businesses, under penalty of whopping fines

3. Outlaw any private insurers that refused to adopt the new government-imposed rules

4. Compel taxpayers to fund the arrangement
Eventually, inevitably, the only private insurers that could survive this arrangement would have to operate like branch offices of the Medicare program — simply administering government “mandated” coverage, services, treatments, medicines, etc.

Rather than “single payer” socialized medicine, then, this would be more like fascist medicine: a merely nominal “private” system, in which a handful of big health care insurers and providers took their marching orders from the federal government.

The problem isn't the co-op, or even the public option. It's the rest of the bill. I've actually read most of H.R. 3200 (PDF) — admittedly, I skimmed much of the 1018 pages. I haven't seen any of the 3 or 4 Senate versions (no one has; only portions have been printed and released), but I suspect the fundamental features are the similar in all of them. 

The House bill strictly defines 3 levels of health insurance coverage and loosely defines a fourth, "premium plus" level, and these are the only policies that private insurers could legally offer. That's not just to get admission to the co-op, as Bidinotto believes, but to do business at all.

Every conceivable aspect of how health care is insured, provided, assessed, and reimbursed is mandated in excrutiating detail. All of that, and the 4 points Bidinotto listed above, would be there even if neither a "public option" nor a "co-op" were included. And Bidinotto's conclusion would still be the case. 

With or without a public option, with or without a co-op, with or without whatever other fillips they come up with or sops to squishy Republicans they propose, the Democrats' plan to "reform" health care will be an abomination, a monstrosity, an unmitigated evil that a free people cannot tolerate and must stop.

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3 Responses to “Fascist medicine”

  1. Robert Bidinotto said

    Richard, you’re absolutely correct in your assessment of this monstrosity. My point #3 was meant to apply generally, even to any insurer operating OUTSIDE any co-op or “exchange.” This is meant to be the regimentation of the entire health care industry and of much of our economy, whether the government formally nationalizes it or not. The legislation must be killed in its entirety; not a single cancer cell of it must be left to metastasize. Thanks much for giving this attention. — Robert

  2. David Aitken said

    Here’s one of the senate bills:

  3. rgcombs said

    Thank ”you”, Robert.

    David, thanks for the link. I see that this bill is only 615 pages (at least until they add a 300-page amendment in the dead of night). I’ll try to spend some time on it in the next few days.

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