Wednesday, September 23, 2009


... Not for health insurance, you understand, but for property insurance. Or, as Firedog Lake puts it, "for property, not people."

They're talking, as Pensacola Beach residents should remember better than most, about FEMA -- a federal government program, by the way, for those of you on Medicare who oppose 'socialized medicine' -- and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) (another government program). But that was then, when Republicans wanted substantial help from federal programs for themselves. This is now.

But the snarky FDL post does remind us that the budgetary and policy issues presented by hurricane disasters and human health needs are in some respects astonishingly similar. As we said, lo', four years ago when Pensacola Beach still looked like a war zone following Hurricane Ivan, in a contest over property insurance policy between ideologues and rationalists, the real question should be, "which approach is more likely to work for the betterment of the national community and society as a whole? The answer is not a matter of faith or didactics, but facts."

Likewise, when it comes to health care reform, the overriding question should be does the "public option" offer health insurance for all while saving the public money, or can we ever rely on private health insurance companies to do the right thing?

The answer, quite clearly, is yes for the public option and no for the private health corporations with near-monopoly power -- just as Senator Ron Wyden (D-Or) explains:

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