Posted // 2009-08-07 -
Rep. Jim Matheson is pretty enamored with UnitedHealth insurance. According to Businessweek, he said “fascinating, fascinating . . . amazing” after being swept off his feet by United Health's mobile diagnostic center, which enables doctors to examine distant patients via satellite television. He also, along with other blue dogs like Rep. Mike Ross, has given strong voice to the industry's argument that a public insurer would actually reduce competition by undercutting private plans on price and driving them out of business.
In other words, blue dogs like Matheson are helping future neo-cons to point and say “see, Obama's “change” was all BS!” The public option for health care played a big role in Obama's election. But Matheson still parrots UnitedHealth's claim that a so-called public option could be a "Trojan horse for a single-payer system.” Ok--so what's the downside?
The funny thing about all this is that Matheson and his UnitedHealth cronies are all too aware that people want and would use a public health option. To them, that's a bad thing. After all, the guys at UnitedHealth are so awesome! What with their stellar medical vehicles and what not. We wouldn't want to put them out in anyway. Let's just keep letting them rake in excess millions while dictating the fate of millions of Americans with low-income and pre-existing conditions.
Matheson's argument against the public option is also ignorant of the success that countries like Japan, Taiwan, and Germany have had with it. In these countries, insurance companies still exist, but just can't bully the public anymore. Is that such a bad thing? According to Matheson, it is.