There's a very good op-ed in today's CS Monitor by an insurance industry lawyer who, while he supports the industry and defends its right to a share of health care profits, is appalled at the rhetoric and fear-mongering it has been using to shape our current debate:
This is a pretty quick read, and it's interesting to hear the voice of an insider who is both supportive yet critical of his industry.
The final fear tactic: rationing. If, as the naysayers contend, a public option does someday lead to a single-payer system (though if insurance companies are right that they are less wasteful than the government, I can't see why it should), then care will potentially be rationed.
What the opponents of the public option fail to mention is that health care is already rationed in our country. We ration care based on who can afford it.
Individuals who are neither rich nor have government- or employer-provided coverage are left out. While they may eventually receive care in an emergency room or community-based clinic, they may not. For those who do, the costs are high and usually borne by others. For those who don't, the results are often tragic.
Because the majority of us benefit from the current system, the injustice of it rarely hits home.