Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Tonight I got to see Gov. Howard Dean at a health care "town hall meeting" at Busboys and Poets, where he was answering questions about health care from host Kojo Nnamdi and the audience, and signing his book.

This is the question I would have asked, but by the time I thought of it, the line to ask questions was too long, so I didn't bother:

A major argument for the public option is that it provides more competition. Some opponents of the public option have argued that it's not a fair competition, because the government has the ability to subsidize the public option to make it more attractive than private insurance. I want to ask the opposite question: Assuming the public option passes, how do we prevent a future Congress (beholden to the health insurance industry) from deliberately crippling the public option in order to benefit private insurance companies?


  1. What's wrong with helping the private insurance companies? Isn't that the basis of capitalism, and isn't it the government's job to encourage private enterprise?

    I have lived in Israel since 1986. I can assure you that socialism (in the sense of it meaning the government owning industries) is a sure-fire recipe for corruption and economic stagnation. Why anyone in America would want socialism is beyond me. I know people enjoy complaining about the "economic gap" between rich and poor, but it is not the government's job to ensure "equality" in the economic sense but only to make sure those at the bottom are have adequate food, shelter, clothing and the such.

    I know many "progressives" are thrilled with the idea of the government taking over GM, viewing this as some sort of prelude to the state controlling other industries, but there is no way the government can run GM over an extended time. It can either put in on its feet to be run in the future again as a private company, or close it down. If it does neither, it will become an enormous sinkhole of corruption and endless amounts of taxpayer money will vanish into thin air.

  2. YBD - (this is not the place for replies to things like this, but whatever) - I have lived in Israel for the entirety of my life (i.e., longer than you have) and
    (1) the US gov't does not make sure people have adequate food, clothing and shelter.
    (2) I'd rather have the public controlling the economy through government than have 13-19 families controlling it through "private" enterprise, subsidized by government and bailed out by taxpayers time and time again.
    You have no idea what Israel could have looked like if it didn't spend its time trying to be a US lookalike.