Taibbi on Health Care “Reform”

For some reason, the Reel Big Fish song, “Sell Out” is going through my head.

Sell out, with me oh yea, sell out, with me tonight
Record company’s gonna give me lots of money
and everything’s gonna be (all right).

Matt Taibbi notes that the evidence suggests single payer as the solution to most of the bigger problems with our health care system but that was off the table from the start, for some reason. Apparently the Democrats thought they could start in the middle and negotiate down from there. In any case, he further notes that one of the biggest complaints about the system is bureaucracy and paperwork. The proposed compromise seems to do exactly nothing about that.

[T]he name of this game is passing something the Obama administration can call health care while preserving massive subsidies to the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. In that regard, the government under the new plan will continue to be barred from negotiating bulk rates for pharma purchases for Medicare, while insurance companies won’t have to trim profits or paperwork to compete with a real public option. The Obama administration also recently reversed itself on yet another campaign promise and decided to come out against plans to allow pharma purchases from Canada, further protecting the pharma industry.

So the old system of inefficient bureaucracies and artificially high prices has basically been completely protected.
. . .
If expanding Medicare is good for people aged 55 and up, why isn’t it good for everybody? Why isn’t it a good idea to provide cheaper insurance for people in their preventive care years, so that they cost Medicare less as they do get older?
. . .
This isn’t a health care strategy, it’s a big baby that’s been hacked up into parts and fed in descending size order to the administration’s weightiest political lobbies.


  1. Manfred James says

    Why? Because it doesn’t make increased profits for the insurance industry and Big Pharma.
    Once everyone is required to purchase insurance, and once those older citizens are covered by the government, the country will be parcelled out, regionally, so that all insurance companies can jack the prices up on the rest of us.

  2. Glenn says

    Obviously what we’re looking at now is a ridiculously complicated bill. It’s hard to make sense of what exactly is going to happen. But there don’t seem to be any meaningful cost-containment measures. It sure seems like this “reform” is a convoluted mess that ain’t going to be helping matters much at all, with any meaningful reform having been ridiculously watered-down. Why? Fear of teabaggers? What a massive disappointment.

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