Some folks object to Michael Moore saying that we ought to go to universal single-payer. "There's other ways to achieve universal coverage!" they cry, pointing, for example, at the Swiss model, which incorporates multiple private insurance companies.
The thing is, the Swiss model includes heavily regulated insurance companies that basically operate as arms of the government. It's sorta multi-single-payer coverage, much as in the old Bell System days when the Bell System was so heavily regulated as to basically be just another department of the Federal Government. The problem with retaining the current U.S. insurance industry is that it has proven itself to be utterly corrupt and irredeemable, in my opinion. My mother has worked in the health care industry for close to 40 years now, and has seen the results of the health insurance industry moving from the mutual model to the profit model first-hand. In my opinion, health insurance corporations which are publicly traded should be *OUTLAWED* as a menace to society, no different from cluster bombs and handguns in their ability to kill innocents. Because the moment you become a publicly traded corporation, your first allegiance is not to health care. Your first allegiance is now to your stock holders, who don't care about health care, they just want profit, moh profit, moh profit, and if you don't deny coverage of sick people in order to increase profit, you get fired and people more vicious get hired to replace you.
So retaining private insurance in the primary care business is, in my opinion, unworkable. Our insurance industry has become too corrupt, too wealthy, too willing to bribe Congressmen to do its bidding, for us to put together *any* health insurance scheme that includes them that will actually work at, like, actually providing universal health care. Via their venal behavior over the past two decades they have foregone any seat at the health care table, as far as I'm concerned. Let's just extend Medicare to *everybody*, allow health care insurers to remain as "Medi-gap" providers if they so desire, and otherwise get their venal butts out of our health care.
Medicare. If it's good enough for the prunes, it's good enough for the rest of us. Or do you say we're giving second-rate care to our old people?
- Badtux the Medical Penguin