UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 24, 2009

PUBLIC OPTION WOULD VARY BY ECONOMIC CLASS

Norman Solomon, Truthdig - Days ago, buried in a chart under the headline, "How the Health Care Bills Compare," The New York Times provided some cogent yet cryptic information in the category of "public plan."

A key Senate committee had just approved a bill with a public plan that would "compete with private insurers," the Times chart explained on July 18. The public plan "would provide 'only the essential health benefits,' as defined by the bill, 'except in states that offer additional benefits.'"

Meanwhile, the newspaper noted, "Democrats from three House committees are working on a single plan." Under that plan, "Different levels of coverage - 'basic, enhanced and premium' - can be offered through the public option."

Those few grainy sentences, quickly swept beneath the waves from oceans of media, referred to a disturbing aspect of "public plan" scenarios. If the ostensible goal is health care for all, then - at best - some of the "all" would end up being much more equal than others.

. . . For the government to offer the public a multi-tier set of options for health insurance - in the words of The New York Times, "different levels of coverage" such as "basic, enhanced and premium" - is to imitate the approach of the corporate health care establishment.

After all, isn't it implicit that the government plan's "different levels of coverage," offered to the public, would be based on ability to pay?

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mairead said...

This is, sadly, not new. The level of social security one gets, like the level of post-disaster relief from e.g. the Red Cross, depends on one's social standing. So those who were at the bottom of the pile during their working life remain at the bottom of the retiree pile after.

It's The American Way!

July 25, 2009 1:13 PM  

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