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A Betrayal of Trust

September 11, 2009

According to reports, during his meeting with “moderate” democrats, President Obama was urged to push a “public option” to a fall back position, on the event insurance companies don’t produce a cost savings as a result of market competitiveness. Or in other words, let’s go with the “triggers.”

I ask you, what part of common sense has the Democratic Caucus forgotten. Why would we, the people, go along with the idea of a trigger system. When for all purposes, it will not be of benefit. If insurance companies cannot drop the sick and unhealthy from coverage and exclude people with pre-existing conditions, because the President has put into law prohibitions to such, they will  charge higher premiums to maintain current level of profit. The trigger will allow insurance companies a window of opportunity to do that. Horizon’s do one thing for corporations intent on beating back legislation. They give them time to gouge the people, and devise new arguments to countermand the principals of the legislation.

At that point, you have a lose lose for the Democrats. Who I believe are looking through rose colored glasses if they think this will work.

It is my opinion that the Democratic caucus needs to stand firmly in favor of the people, and this is evidenced. Greg Sargent’s Plum Line reports:

“A private polling memo being distributed on Capitol Hill tells Dems that the language about the insurance industry in Obama’s speech resonated in focus groups and urges them to keep targeting the insurance industry by talking about reform as the best way to hold them “accountable.”

It also stresses that Dems should keep emphasizing a connection between health care reform and American values and the “American character,” as Obama did in his speech.”

This speaks to the American populaces staunch animus for the Health Insurance industry, and it’s callous grab for higher profits. This is why a strong public option cannot be “triggered”, and why it cannot be forecast beyond the inception of the bill, why it must be implemented upon it’s signature; because it is the great leveler in this exercise. Why? Because an option outside of the Health Insurance industry, and independent of it’s profit pressures is the only thing that will keep them honest. A public option, under which people pay 5, 10 or even 20% less in premiums than they do now, will take the option of raising premiums from insurance companies. Insurance companies cannot continue to operate with impunity if their profit margins begin to see slippage.

Further, any mandate on the American people, should include the availability of a distinctively “American” option. That means a nationally available option, which is affordable and implementable.  That is in keeping with the higher ideals and values of this nation, that is the spirit from which institutions like Social-Security and Medicare were formed. The Democrats have an opportunity to take advantage of the soaring rhetoric of President Obama’s Health care address – but it is a window that closes quickly. They need not push to the side the best step towards real universal health care (which the public option represents) in the interest of political expedience.

To do so would be a Betrayal of the public Trust

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