New ad from Health Care for America Now:



Feisty rhetoric aside, the policy point here is that health insurance companies are a weird beast relative to our social aspiration to provide everyone with adequate health care. Sometimes you might want something widely provided with a government guarantee, but still want to keep private firms in business making the product. Every child needs a desk in school, but the government doesn't need to build the desks. We want private firms in the desk-building business getting as good as they can at building desks. But insurance companies are in the business of screening people based on risk, and of finding reasons to deny people's claims. And we don't want them to do that.

The simplest way would be to just cut them out of the process and put the "insurance" function directly in the hands of the government. Most likely that's not a politically feasible objective, but they could perhaps be put in competition with a public sector entity.

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