No Return – No Deposit

12 Aug


Those on the left are demanding a “public option.” They demand that the Congress establish a federally run provider than will compete with for profit insurance companies. We all know that this is inherently unfair due to the advantages enjoyed by government, given that the government will set the rules that regulate everyone. If the left is so confident in the efficiency of the federal government, and believe that insurance companies are gouging customers, why not put that theory to the test?

I suggest mandating that any federally operated public option plan be forced to operate as a for-profit entity. I further suggest that all profits from the public option be used to pay down the national debt. The law would have to establish a minimum benchmark by which the public option would create a return for the taxpayers who are investing in this plan. The minimum return should be based on the average rate of return that private for-profit insurance companies can deliver. The return seen from the public option entity would be used to pay down the national debt, which would benefit all Americans.

If the federally run government plan cannot operate at a profit, while providing the same care as private insurers, then it is clear that it is not as effective as private insurance and cannot be considered a solution to the rising cost of health care. There would also need to be provisions that would prevent the Federal Government from raising taxes in order to meet their profit. Laws would also need to be enacted that would prevent the Federal Government from borrowing against projected returns. If they cannot lower costs, as they claim, they are no different than the private insurance companies. If there is no difference between the performance of private and government run providers, there is no reason to switch to a single payer system that would undermine competition and threaten further medical innovation. If the government run option, after ten years, cannot meet it’s required profit targets it should be abandoned for a real solution to the cost of health care that actually works. For once, let’s make the Federal Government play by the same rules as everyone else.


10 Responses to “No Return – No Deposit”

  1. Candice August 12, 2009 at 10:26 AM #

    Great idea!! How about we test this theory out, you know, before anyone does anything drastic.

    Furthermore, and this might be the hope and change talking, but wouldn’t this be unprecedented and NEW? I don’t know if we can really handle new and improved or HONEST. Its just not the American way anymore. Get with the times man!

    • StickeeNotes August 12, 2009 at 11:09 AM #

      That video is great, Candice. For some reason my body is rejecting the hope and change. That’s what I get for having an immune system that rejects bullshit. I guess I’m just old school.

  2. ManBearPig August 12, 2009 at 10:30 AM #

    I like it in theory, but it comes too close for comfort to a Fannie and Freddie scenario for me I think… My problem is that the gov can’t help itself, they can enact laws, they can control the game, they may not violate any written rules, yet can layer other things on top that enable them… I just don’t think you can trust a government, they are designed to control.

  3. StickeeNotes August 12, 2009 at 10:59 AM #

    I agree. It’s a thought experiment and I have no doubt that if it was taken seriously it would be perverted and twisted by legislative staff members until it was rendered meaningless. I like it in that it puts public option advocates on the defensive and highlights certain flaws in their current proposal. In the end, any reform depends on trusting the government and that just doesn’t fly when this is a nation built on an inherent distrust of government.

    My impression of an Obamaton: They’ve done such a wonderful job so far (regulating the insurance industry and establishing a system that undermines market forces) why shouldn’t we trust them to fix the problem they created?

  4. DPunch August 12, 2009 at 6:36 PM #

    It’s a good idea, Sticks. I’m not trying to be a Mr. Doubty McPoopypants, but my experience tells me that to make it work, we would be looking at a holistic reconstruction of the structure and culture of government and it’s role (and the modern day view of that role).

    Regulations of the private insurance companies would likely need to be abolished lest we run the risk of the system seizing up from massive litigation or additional legislation. Let’s face it, if you were an insurance company, would you let your biggest (and cheapest) competitor have oversight of your records and policies without a fight?

    For that matter, the grab bag of public record and transparency laws on the books (the Freedom of Information Act, et al), not to mention the spirit of an open representative democracy, are not exactly conducive to the level of discretion necessary to operate a successful and profitable entity. Profit and competitiveness is bred by innovation, and you can’t be competitive when your opponent has a copy of your playbook.

    Additionally, a for-profit government insurance program would require restructuring existing union relationships and contracts, consultant negotiations, bidding processes, policies regarding the hiring/firing of employee just to start. In the end, the shear costs and logistics of such a transition may doom the health insurance program in its infancy, and may likely drag other government agencies, programs, departments, and politicians into the fray…forever tainting the “free-market option” to anything.

    Unfortunately, ManBearPig’s point of the government as a classic example of “The Scorpion and the Frog” scenario rings true. Your idea may be about 40-50 years too late. We can thank the “Great Society” for that.

    • DPunch August 12, 2009 at 6:48 PM #

      I would just like to add that the federal government is “too big to succeed”.

      • StickeeNotes August 12, 2009 at 8:21 PM #

        Agreed. State and local governments are slowly and steadily being converted into nothing more than the elected servants of Federal dictators who push unfunded mandates and weighty regulation. Then they leave it to others to make it work.

    • StickeeNotes August 12, 2009 at 8:18 PM #

      Excellent points, Sir. You have the real world experience that comes with actually having to face the nightmare that is running a private business in such a highly regulated/litigated nation. It would never work, but I like putting the onus back on the left and challenging their claims that a government option can save money by reducing administrative costs etc.

      • DPunch August 12, 2009 at 8:38 PM #

        Which I think was the point of your blog: let’s call the left’s bluff; let’s allow government to compete on a true level playing field…and watch it fail.


  1. Democrats are Sick | Feed Your ADHD - December 10, 2009

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