Swallowing Health Care Reform

Matt Taibbi hates the current health care bill, but holds out a glimmer of hope that it might one day lead to something more rational:

I hate this bill and have since the beginning — to me it seems like a

radical and dangerous step to start forcing people to become customers

of a seriously overpriced, inefficient product, thereby removing the

last incentive for an already antitrust-exempted,

horrifically-performing industry to improve itself in any way.

But I’m beginning to come around to the idea that if we do pass this

thing, sooner or later Congress is going to get around to complaining

about subsidizing the profits of WellPoint and Aetna and all the rest of

them. Naturally the first place they’ll cut in future budget crises is

the “affordability credits” for low-income earners, but there’s a slim

chance they’ll get around to chiseling the fat from the insurance

companies, too, which might in turn lead ultimately to a sane revamping

of this ridiculous system.

The only way I see a serious revamp is if a public option is put in somewhere down the line. If it is robust, a public insurance option has the potential to seriously dent the insurance industry and forever finish the argument that private for-profit companies are better at delivering affordable health care than government is.

Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.