OH, WELL IN THAT CASE…

Posted in Quick Hits on March 28th, 2017 by Ed

Whenever conservatives complain that government-run health care would result in someone interfering with decisions that should be made by patients and doctors, limiting individual choice, and restricting or rationing access to certain kinds of care I ask the same question: What the hell insurance do you have? Because my insurance company does all of that, and then some. And over my working life I've had insurance (HMO, PPO, hybrid) with several large providers (Aetna, Humana, BC-BS) and this was true of all of them. There was a rule book. There were gatekeepers. There was ruthless cost cutting. And the restrictions on doctors and patients imposed by the insurer were too numerous to count.

It forces one to wonder; if this hypothetical Freedom is so important, why does the name tag of the person interfering with it matter? Why is it the worst scenario imaginable for a Government Bureaucrat to tell you that you need a referral to see a specialist but a victory for the glorious free market when the functionary imposing that rule on us works for Wellpoint? The distinction seems beyond meaningless.

We see the same thing unfolding as Republicans in Congress roll back nearly every regulation intended to protect privacy on the internet. The worst thing Joe Trump Voter can imagine is The Government invading our privacy. But if Comcast wants to do it and then sell access to your private information (including potentially to the government, of course) then…hurrah for capitalism?

Anti-government invective paired with pro-business propaganda has produced some monumentally strange results in the belief systems of many Americans.