On the front page of the Boston Globe, Lisa Wangsness informs us that:
Today, the nation's largest health insurance lobbying group will present its own proposal for a version of universal health insurance. The group, America's Health Insurance Plans, has put up a website featuring man-on-the-street video interviews of people complaining about the lack of affordable healthcare: "I'm disgusted, I'm frustrated, I don't know what to do about it," a blonde woman with glasses says in one of the interviews. "It's time for the government to step in." [bold added]Why the change?
Chris Jennings, a healthcare lobbyist and former Clinton aide, said that business groups and insurers have more urgent reasons for getting involved this time.So the country successfully fended off universal health care in the early 90s, but because none of the underlying problems were fixed--namely, Medicare and Medicaid were not abolished, and the government was not ejected from the health care market--the problem festered. The mixed system became more and more untenable, more regulations led to higher and higher costs, and finally, we have reached a breaking point where even the staunch opponents of socialized medicine--the very companies who will eventually be destroyed by it--see no alternative.
"In stark contrast to '93-'94, their second-best option is no longer to do nothing," Jennings said. "They recognize that a failure to act is an explicit policy choice that has severe and negative consequences to them. . . . This isn't just about altruism."
Business organizations like the National Federation of Independent Business, a small business advocacy organization whose grassroots campaign against the Clinton plan bombarded Capitol Hill with letters and phone calls, say their members can no longer tolerate the rising cost of premiums, which is forcing many small businesses either to stop offering coverage or require employees to pay more for it. [bold added]
Will they listen to those who advocate for the only real, moral solution--laissez-faire health care--and change their self-defeating tune? Will the Republicans, who thankfully have retained the ability to filibuster, be willing to stand up and block the tsunami that is heading their way?
That's an awfully sad set to be pinning our hopes to.