No, Really. Does Anyone Actually Understand the Health Care Debate?:
The horse's head of a report delivered by the American Health Insurance Providers to the beds of sleeping senators is quite a document, not just because of what it threatens, but because of what it admits. The deeply-fucked numbers that have been getting the most publicity are interesting in that they are based on some fantasy worst-case scenario where only bad shit happens with health care reform and that are pretty much the polar opposite of the CBO report. It's sort of like if you're taken to the a movie you're not interested in seeing and instead of just thinking that you might not have a good time, you enter the auditorium believing that you'll get beaten to death by popcorn-fisted floor monsters.
However, there's a few figures a little further in the AHIP report that are just fascinating. For instance, you read: "Premiums in the large group market for family coverage will increase from average of about $13,900 in 2010 to approximately $23,500 in 2019 in the absence of reform and $26,200 if these reforms become law." And you might, at first, think, "Well, certainly that's not good. For with reform, the premium would be $2700 higher." Of course, that's ignoring that AHIP is fucking admitting that insurance companies are gonna jack up premiums nearly 60% in 9 years in almost every market - non-group, small group, or large group. In other words, left to their own devices, the nation's health insurers admit they're gonna ass rape us. They just wanna make sure we understand that if reform passes, they'll also fuck our faces with their filthy dicks.
AHIP is pissed off because they find the Baucus bill's individual mandate that everyone needs to buy health insurance doesn't penalize people as much or quickly enough, and, in fact, could be low enough so that it's cheaper for people to just pay the penalty instead of buying insurance that, as previously mentioned, is gonna be 60% more expensive in a few years. See, the insurers' thought they were assured by negotiators in the White House and Senate that millions of more people would be buying their policies, whether with their own or the government's (our) money, which would mean...oh, fucking hell. That's not even getting to the indexing of fines or the tax on Cadillac plans. Confused? Seems like a clusterfuck of such epic proportions that there's no fucking way you are going to understand any of this? No shit. The Rude Pundit just wrote that, and it seems like it's not only opposed to common sense, but it's where common sense goes to vomit and die.
Because the natural response to any of the insurance companies' threats is "Wow, there's an industry that needs the government to step in." And thus the circle is complete.
The Rude Pundit has tried to come up with a rational reason why the public option is still even being debated and is not the centerpiece of the bill. He can't do it. By AHIP's own admission, they have to be stopped or they'll kill again. The report is a taunt, a thug-level threat, terrorism, if you will. With no government alternative to corporate health insurance, it's like asking captured bank robbers if they'd mind not robbing banks anymore. When they say, "Yes, we mind," you ask if they'd stop shooting hostages. And when they say, "We'll think about it," you thank them for accepting their punishment so gracefully and release them.