The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Monday, August 17, 2009

No Lauer You Got it Wrong

Newsbusters quotes Matt Lauer in an interview with Howard Dean trying to define the health care public option. He says:

MATT LAUER: Let, let's start by making sure people understand exactly what we're talking about when we say this public option. This is a government-run insurance agency that would give people greater choice, some say break the monopoly held by the private insurers and, thus, drive down costs. Is that fair?

How can anything so ignorant come out of the mouth of somebody who styles himself as being informed? First, he displays an ignorance of the word Monopoly. The 's' at the end of his word insurers should tell him there is no monopoly. While there are some dental insurers in the list to ignore, has a long list of health insurance companies:

(long, ugly list moved to comments for aesthetic reasons)

Hardly evidence of a monopoly. What Matt Lauer misses in his quest for the forest (due to so many trees blocking his view) is that the Public Option instead of breaking any monopoly, will most likely create one leaving Government Health Insurance the only insurer standing. While real life insurers must contend with the hard constraint of the necessity of bringing more money in than they actually distribute in order to survive, the Public Option will have no such constraint. They just go to the taxpayer and say "Oops, this costs bunch more than we thought and we need more money".

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  • At 11:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hmm... That list does look a little bit "regional" (even state by state) in nature.

    Is it possible that any of these regions do not have any (or much) competition?

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    I see your point, but the intent of the list was to quickly show diversity without a lot of sifting through. Here is another link you can look through that shows ratings for health insurers around the country:

    It is not exhaustive as there are a few states missing. The point is that there is already competition. Every year I have to select from almost a dozen plans from varying companies. Most areas of the country are serviced by several companies from the following list:

    United Health One
    Blue Cross Blue Shield
    Coventry Health Care
    Harvard Pilgrim

    If you are aware of any region where the private sector does not offer such competition I would be interested in knowing about it. I have not been able to locate such a region.

  • At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Now that is a much more sensible statement.

    I just get frustrated by the wild and over the top claims being bantered about during this whole debate. Does "Evil" or "Death Panel" ring any bells?

    Sorry, but I can't volunteer for the analysis on regions without competition, but do think that your argument is much stronger when you take a more reserved but defendable position as restated in your response.

    Oh... and like Will Farrell said... "Matt Lauer can suck it!"

  • At 6:24 PM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    //Sorry, but I can't volunteer for the analysis on regions without competition....//

    I can. How about Congress just pass a law that allows interstate coverage?

    In fact, why don't we just pass laws that that address the real problems that DO exist in healthcare, and do it without empowering the government anymore than they have empowered themselves already?

    And just to set the record straight, even with the inability of coverage crossing state lines, it is still not a monopoly. And like AICS said, there are many plans available in my state (and several offered by my employer).

    (It's best to have a good functional understanding of something before you try correcting others.)

  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Excellent point LA. Unfortunately politicians don't seem to be interested in solving problems, but are more interested in not letting a crisis go to waste in their quest for power and control.

  • At 5:08 PM, Blogger LASunsett said…

    //Unfortunately politicians don't seem to be interested in solving problems, but are more interested in not letting a crisis go to waste in their quest for power and control.//

    Which is particularly sad, when they have already won the election and have been entrusted to govern. I suspect the reason they are being so utterly unreasonable in their quest to assert more governmental control, is because they know they have but a short time to get their pathetic programs through before they lose power.

  • At 4:43 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Here is the list:

    - AARP Insured By Aetna
    - Aetna
    - Alliance Health and Life Insurance Company
    - Altius Health Plans
    - Altius One
    - American Family Life Assurance Company (Aflac)
    - American Medical Security Life Insurance Company
    - AmeriHealth HMO - New Jersey
    - Ameritas
    - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of VA
    - Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of CT
    - Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Missouri
    - Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin
    - Anthem Blue Cross of California
    - Anthem BlueCross BlueShield
    - Arise Health Plan
    - Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield
    - Asuris Northwest Health
    - Atlantis Health Plan
    - Avera Health Plans
    - Bay Dental
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia
    - Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico
    - Blue Cross of Idaho
    - Blue Shield of California
    - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
    - BlueCross BlueShield of Kansas City
    - BlueCross BlueShield of Louisiana
    - BlueCross BlueShield of Montana
    - BlueCross BlueShield of Nebraska
    - BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee
    - CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
    - Celtic Ins. Co.
    - CIGNA
    - Clear Choice Health Plans
    - Companion Life Insurance Company
    - ConnectiCare Inc.
    - Coventry Health and Life Insurance Company
    - Coventry Health Care of Delaware, Inc
    - Coventry Health Care of Georgia, Inc.
    - Coventry Health Care of Iowa, Inc.
    - Coventry Health Care of Kansas Inc.
    - Coventry Health Care of Louisiana, Inc.
    - Coventry Health Care of Nebraska, Inc.
    - Coventry Health Care of Oklahoma Inc.
    - CoventryOne
    - Dean Health Plan, Inc.
    - Empire
    - First Priority Life, administered by Blue Cross of NEPA
    - Geisinger Quality Options
    - Group Health
    - Group Health Incorporated
    - Group Health Plan
    - Health Net
    - Health Plan of Nevada
    - HealthAmerica
    - HealthPartners
    - Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
    - Humana
    - Independence Blue Cross
    - Kaiser Mid-Atlantic
    - Kaiser Permanente
    - KPS Health Plans
    - LifeWise Health Plan of Oregon
    - LifeWise Health Plan of Washington
    - Lovelace Health Plans
    - Medica
    - Medica of Minnesota
    - Medical Mutual of Ohio
    - Mercy Health Plans of Missouri
    - Mountain State BlueCross BlueShield
    - ODS Health Plan, Inc.
    - Oxford Health Plans, Inc.
    - PacifiCare
    - PacificSource Health Plans
    - Personal Care Insurance of Illinois
    - Physicians Health Plan of Northern Indiana, Inc.
    - PreferredOne Insurance Company
    - Premera Blue Cross
    - Premera Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alaska
    - Providence Health Plan
    - Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon
    - Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Utah
    - Regence BlueShield of Washington
    - Regence BlueShield of Idaho
    - Rocky Mountain Health Plans
    - SAS Insurance Development
    - Scott & White Health Plan
    - Security Life Insurance Company of America
    - SelectHealth
    - Standard Security Life Insurance Company
    - SummaCare Inc of Ohio
    - Total Dental Administrators Health Plan, Inc.
    - UniCare
    - Unity Health Insurance of Wisconsin
    - UnitedHealthcare
    - Vista Healthplan of South Florida
    - WellPath Select, Inc.
    - WPS Health Insurance of Wisconsin


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