This debate over healthcare makes my brain hurt.
Here's the deal: anytime anyone brings up an argument against the public option, we should treat that argument as a direct attack on Medicare.
By 2050, 21% of the American public will have a "public option" in the form of this over-65 health care coverage. People who argue against a public option need to defend their position based on the public option so many Americans already have, and are violently opposed to losing.
By the way, at least half of the babies born in West Virginia, for instance, are born while on Medicaid, another "public option." The insurance/pharma concerns are sponsoring plain folks ads arguing for "affordable coverage for every American" without a public option. While I sit here and laugh, please-- I'd like to know what Blue Cross, the other big insurers, and Congress think a West Virginian single pregnant woman can "afford." Blue Cross thought I could afford over $900 a month for me and three kids. And three insurance companies rejected me for pre-existing conditions when I attempted to enter the "competitive" market and reduce my costs.
And shut the fuck up about how we'll pay for it. Costs will be reduced dramatically if we ban pharmaceutical advertising and reform executive compensation. Doctors and insurance company executives, bankers and investment analysts, can make 25 times what entry-level employees do. And CEOS can make 50 times what entry level employees do. NOT 821 TIMES.
In 2005, an average Chief Executive Officer (CEO) was paid 821 times as much as a minimum wage earner, who earns just $5.15 per hour. An average CEO earns more before lunchtime on the very first day of work in the year than a minimum wage worker earns all year.
Socialism? Populism? It's like the unregulated capitalism of the nineteenth century. It's like the unregulated capitalism of the 1920's. Once again, over and over, the ownership class is asking for a backlash from the average working person.
The public option in health care is just the beginning, and the corporate health care lobby knows it. They've milked the public by providing at highest possible cost and lowest possible payout, a product most people feel they MUST have. They have priced themselves out of the market unless they can use political corruption to buy Congress and the White House. My brain hurts.
PS. On topic, I've got a very special t-shirt to wear to Joe Lieberman's next "public" appearance: