When thinking about national public health insurance we do have examples where private ventures offer what the government offers for “free”. For instance, my kids have been in private school their entire lives. That is about to change as my 12 year old enters public 7th grade.
Note, however, that at no point did public funds pay for my kids school. And to make matters worse, I had to pay my school taxes no matter where they went. Even worse, when we had a 2nd home in Vermont, I paid school taxes in a place where my kids would never go to school. So in practical terms, private schools and public schools aren’t “competing” – the public school gets its money anyway. And to ensure public schools keeps their dough, vouchers are fought tooth and nail by the public school bureaucracy and its various supporting public sector unions and the politicians they own.
True competition competes for money. The only place I’m aware of public/private competition for actual $ in health care is the Medicare Advantage program. The program gives seniors an option – they can enroll in public Medicare, or enroll with a private insurance and have Medicare pay the premium. Medicare Advantage insurance is offered by hundreds of companies, in most places in the US. Medicare Advantage firms compete heavily for the business and over 10 million seniors are now enrolled with them.
So what part of Medicare does Barack Obama want to get rid of? Medicare Advantage! Why? Because it uses Medicare money to provide better service and options to its customers. And as more and more money moves to it, the public option sees less. The less the public option sees, the less it can hide its inefficiencies, and downward it spirals.
And that HAS TO STOP! It has to as it violates the basic premise of getting between government and your money. Bad!
What this means is that no matter what Obama claims, the only system the government will put in place is one that doesn’t compete for what it wants most – your money.
And let’s put this simply… if Obama won’t support vouchers for private school, why would he be willing to do them for healthcare? Doubts multiply when we have him on the record as wanting to dump an actual working private / public partnership.
So sure, there will be private insurance. But it will be expensive and exclusive. And you will have to pay for public and private. Just like private schools are today.
I’m well off, I’ll enjoy my private insurance. You have fun in your public plan. And remember… as you painfully wait for repair of your acute anal fissure that “it didn’t used to be like this”.