Robert Reich: Senate Health Care Bill Creates Monopoly For Health Insurers With No Incentive To Control Costs

Robert Reich has expressed his discontent with the Senate’s proposed healthcare legislation in his blog. According to Reich, the legislation would establish monopolies and result in a constant rise in healthcare costs. He believes that the proposed system, which relies on private insurers, would offer no motivation to control costs of medical providers and pharmaceutical companies. For those seeking affordable and efficient healthcare services, https://www.mydocurgentcare.com/ could be a viable option to consider.

Reich says, “Without some mechanism forcing private insurers to compete, we’re going to end up with a national health care system that’s controlled by a handful of very large corporations accountable neither to American voters nor to the market.”  Other Excerpts:

  1. The public option is dead, killed by a handful of senators from small states who are mostly bought off by Big Insurance and Big Pharma or intimidated by these industries’ deep pockets and power to run political ads against them.
  2. But we still end up with a system that’s based on private insurers that have no incentive whatsoever to control their costs or the costs of pharmaceutical companies and medical providers.
  3. If you think the federal employee benefit plan is an answer to this, think again. Its premiums increased nearly 9 percent this year. And if you think an expanded Medicare is the answer, you’re smoking medical marijuana. The Senate bill allows an independent commission to hold back Medicare costs only if Medicare spending is rising faster than total health spending. So if health spending is soaring because private insurers have no incentive to control it, we’re all out of luck. Medicare explodes as well.
  4. Private insurers barely compete against each other. According to data from the American Medical Association, only a handful of insurers dominate most states. In 9 states, 2 insurance companies control 85 percent or more of the market. In Arkansas, home to Senator Blanche Lincoln, who doesn’t dare cross Big Insurance, the Blue Cross plan controls almost 70 percent of the market;
  5. In light of all this, you’d think the insurance industry would be subject to the antitrust laws … But no. Remarkably, the Senate bill still keeps Big Insurance safe from competition by preserving its privileged exemption from the antitrust laws.
  6. Private insurers are exempt from competition. As a result, they are becoming ever more powerful. And it’s not just their economic power that’s worrying. It’s also their political power, as we’ve learned over the last ten months.
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