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09.23 MARYLAND GOVERNOR REBUFFS CALL FOR CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION INTO BRETT KAVANAUGH ATTEMPTED RAPE ALLEGATIONS [Republicans above the law...]
09.19 'Killing a generation': one million more children at risk from famine in Yemen [Does America's government have empathy? Does it understand the concept of morality? The Saudi Air Force would be ineffective without U.S. military assistance...]
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09.18 Racist rioting in Chemnitz has reopened Germany’s east-west split [After 10,000 generations, we are all mixed-race. So let's become friends with our cousins instead!]
Public Option: Insurance Industry’s Trojan Horse
Regulated non-profits to control excessive charges would be a better plan.
First published in his blog Unsilent Generation yesterday, 27 October 2009
Almost half of Americans with private health insurance are currently covered by non-profit plans. Many Blue Cross-Blue Shields are still non-profits, for example, but a report by the Consumers Union found the non-profit “Blues” were stockpiling billions in cash even as they raised premiums and co-pays.
As I suggested yesterday, the latest reincarnation of the public option, endorsed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in all probability will lay out one more circuitous route back into the insurance industry. The Senate plan apparently will follow the lines of an idea originally suggested by Senator Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat. Today, nobody—journalists, politicans—know the details of this plan. But earlier in October, Carper talked to reporters and, according to an account in TPM, set forth his ideas in some detail.
Carper’s plan begins to sound very much like Blue Cross-Blue Shield, long ago launched as a non-profit cooperative that over time turned into a hellish health insurance conglomerate that includes both for-profit and non-profit franchises. (The huge–and hugely loathed–WellPoint is now the largest member of the network.)
Carper and other designers of weak-assed public options like to say “non-profit” over and over again, as if this were some cure to all the ills of the private insurance industry. This is far from the case: As I wrote back in June:
Born in 1936, James Ridgeway has been reporting on politics for more than 45 years. He is currently Senior Washington Correspondent for Mother Jones, and recently wrote a blog on the 2008 presidential election for the Guardian online. He previously served as Washington Correspondent for the Village Voice; wrote for Ramparts and The New Republic; and founded and edited two independent newsletters, Hard Times and The Elements.
Ridgeway is the author of 16 books, including The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, It’s All for Sale: The Control of Global Resources, and Blood in the Face: The Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, Nazi Skinheads, and the Rise of a New White Culture. He co-directed a companion film to Blood in the Face and a second documentary film, Feed, and has co-produced web videos for GuardianFilms.
Additional information and samples of James Ridgeway’s work can be found on his web site, http://jamesridgeway.net.
This article is republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on October 28, 2009.
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