As is often the case, a nasty game of politics is confusing the public regarding the health insurance reform debate. Consequently, many are choosing to become disenfranchised with the goings on in the nation’s capital and simply writing it off to politics as usual.
While it’s understandable to be turned off by all the perplexing shenanigans that take place in Congress, this is one situation we should all continue to follow because it will more than likely impact everyone at some point on some level.
Although there seems to be something new making headlines with the health insurance legislation every day, the big news within the last week is the withdrawal of the public option from the debate. We find this to be good news.
We do not believe having a government-run health insurance company was going to be the panacea some forecast. It was merely a desperate attempt to increase competition, which is badly needed, but expanding the size of government and extending its reach into the private sector is never a good thing in our opinion.
The major problems with the status quo of the health insurance industry are it’s too expensive and overly selective, both a direct result of lack of enough competition. Some thought the public option would address these issues, but the severe limitations in store for the public company would have made that impossible.
Currently, the rules of capitalism do not seem to apply to the health insurance industry. The costs increase every year without fail, and there does not appear to be an end in sight. As the costs increase, less and less people are being able to be insured because companies are becoming increasingly selective with whom they want to sign on.
We have never agreed with the statement that every American is entitled to health insurance. We find any kind of entitlement puzzling. Nobody is guaranteed anything in life. Free health insurance, which is anything but that to the taxpaying public, is not something all citizens deserve.
What should happen is all Americans should be able to shop for their own health insurance if their employer does not offer it. Businesses should be able to offer insurance to their employees and not have to sustain huge increases every year to keep their employees covered. Operating costs should not be cramped because the cost to insure dozens of employees and their families is jumping on average of 10 to 15 percent a year.
Something has to change with health insurance. The status quo is unacceptable. That’s why we feel the debate legislators are having is healthy. Reform is necessary and it’s coming at the right time.
The hope has to be that a compromise is in the works for all sides to come to an agreement with the end result being more Americans can obtain health insurance on their own and more businesses can continue to offer, fund and expand the coverage they currently provide their employees.
The public option was not going to do a lot to make that happen. It had become a distracting lightning rod for many, and it was not going to make that much of a difference in the long run. It’s a good thing it’s dead because it allows for attention to be paid to the most pressing issues – affordability and limitations. Enhanced competition to keep costs within reason is needed to address these issues, and how to ensure that occurs should be at the heart of the reform debate.