Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Severe Lack of Altruism

I listened to President Obama's speech and heard him emphasize the need for a public option in order to level the playing field. According to the president:

...Without competition, the price of insurance goes up and the quality goes down. And it makes it easier for insurance companies to treat their customers badly - by cherry-picking the healthiest individuals and trying to drop the sickest; by overcharging small businesses who have no leverage; and by jacking up rates.

Insurance executives don't do this because they are bad people. They do it because it's profitable. As one former insurance executive testified before Congress, insurance companies are not only encouraged to find reasons to drop the seriously ill; they are rewarded for it. All of this is in service of meeting what this former executive called "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations." avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up at private companies by profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries, it could provide a good deal for consumers...
Let me get it straight. The reason a public option would operate more efficiently than normal insurance is because it doesn't have to concern itself with profits. Fine, but is there only one entity in the entire United States willing to forgo profit for the public good? Last I checked, over 100 million people voted in this country and over half of them for Obama. I would venture to say most Obama voters support a public option, i.e. a non-profit insurance company. One that can resist, "Wall Street's relentless profit expectations." Are you telling me, that out of over 50 million people, there isn't one person who would be willing to create this altruistic company?

I actually have more faith in my fellow man. I think private charities have tried to do exactly what the public option is supposed to do. They haven't solved the problem because what Mr. Obama is telling the American public is not correct. Your insurance costs are not high because of profit driven companies. President Obama would like it to be that simple: profits bad, governments good. Take away the profits and all will be peachy. Well, we can already take away profits. No one is stopping anyone from doing just that. In a free market, if someone wants to start a company and not take a profit, they can do so. If Mr. Obama is correct and profits are the problem, that company will dominate the market and "protect" consumers.

Either Mr. Obama is wrong, or there is not a single altruist in the entire United States. I'm betting on the former.


Post a Comment