Barack Obama

You're Either With Us, Or With the Insurance Companies


Here's how President Barack Obama began his weekly radio address this weekend:

Over the past few decades, there has been an intense struggle in Washington between the lobbyists for the insurance industry and the interests of the American people

Just like that! Debate over a hellishly complicated policy (really, many hundreds of overlapping policies) that currently gobbles up one-sixth of GDP, boiled down to a single us vs. them, people vs. the power. Good thing we no longer have such a simplistic, Manichean president….

With an opener like that, it probably won't take long to get the false health-care economics consensus cooking up. Sure enough:

Simply put, the protections currently included in both the health insurance reform bill passed by the House and the version currently on the Senate floor would represent the toughest measures we've ever taken to hold the insurance industry accountable.  Anyone who says otherwise simply hasn't read the bills.

So Howard Dean hasn't read the bills? Americans for Tax Reform hasn't read the bills? I or any other human being on this earth, if we dropped everything and read every word of the 2,457-page monster, we would come to the same conclusion?

The health insurance industry, as Reason readers know, has been helping craft this reform all along, while receiving the back of the hand whenever deemed to stray off message. As almost always with these kinds of things, the dwindling number of giants within the industry are certain to profit handsomely, if for no other reason than that the barrier to their competitors' entry is being built up still higher. Like smokers in blue states, they'll probably make for handy targets of hatred and government tribute, until they cease to exist altogether.