Viewpoint, Eugene Register Guard January 10, 2013
by Rick Staggenborg
Medical insurers around the country have announced a new round of double-digit premium increases, belying the promise that Obamacare would reduce costs of health care. Although the “Affordable” Health Care Act is not yet fully implemented, it is reasonable to assume that the further expansion of benefits will dwarf any savings predicted by the error-filled CBO report supporters use to justify the claim. The fact is that the ACA cannot lead to real reform in costs or access to health care. These can only be achieved through truly universal health care in the form of a single payer, Medicare-for-All model or something similar. What ACA amounts to is a taxpayer bailout of a failing medical insurance industry.
People may wonder how the tremendously profitable insurance industry can be failing. They must consider the basic fact that as medical insurance costs rise, fewer people can afford it. Profits drop, forcing further premium increases to maintain profit margins. This is the “death spiral” that single payer proponents have talked about from the beginning of the health care “reform” debate. We were ignored by the corporate media and both major Parties, but emerging facts are confirming our conclusions. It is time that taxpayers demand an honest discussion about the one option for addressing the crisis in health care access and affordability. Congress will continue to avoid this debate if we do not force them to discuss it. We need to make them fear us more than the anger of their political patrons in the medical-industrial complex of the insurance, pharmaceutical and corporate health care provider industries.