Durenberger: "McCain & Palin have been sold a bill of goods"

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In an e-mail commentary dated September 17, 2008 (e-mailed but not yet posted online at this moment), former US Senator David Durenberger (R-MN) writes:

"...health policy is the one area in which John McCain, President Bush, and almost all Republicans seem to be in total agreement. No need to hire a maverick for this one.

They believe they have been on the right policy track for the last 16 years. The policy key to containing health care costs and improving value they call "consumer directed health care" and McCain calls it "finding and keeping good health insurance." The policy stumbling block to the goal is Democrats and "government health care...where a bureaucrat etc."

The Republican Party and many of the candidates at the national and state level are committed to the private health insurance industry. Republicans want to make it as easy as possible for this industry to profit off the sale everywhere in the country of individual health plans whose premiums are paid for largely by tax subsidies and increasing cost-sharing by purchasers. Senators like John McCain and Governors like Sarah Palin have been sold a bill of goods by the growing medical industrial complex that consumer directed health plans and medical markets will work to reduce costs and improve quality and performance. Any effort to introduce true competition based on consumers receiving value for money is "a government run health system."

Meantime this week Elizabeth Edwards testified before the Subcommittee on Health, criticizing so-called consumer-driven health care models for erroneously equating health insurance with other consumer goods.

“We’re not selling toilet paper here, we’re not selling televisions, we are selling an essential part of people’s lives and it needs to be thought of that way,? Edwards said. "Deciding between the costs and benefits of various cancer treatments like chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery will simply never be the same as choosing between purchasing a Dodge, Pontiac, and Lincoln."

2 Comments

Bang on!

To see an example of the fallacy of the McCain/Palin bill of goods, all one needs to do is look at the children's hospital system in the Twin Cities.

Here so-called "competition" is leading to unnecessary duplication of services. I like Durenberger's phrase "the medical-industrial complex."

Jaja you guys nailed this one and I agree with Bills comment "all one needs to do is look at the children hospital system in the twin cities" I drive by there daily and believe me I know what it is like.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Gary Schwitzer published on September 19, 2008 8:01 AM.

Medical device ads more troublesome than drug ads? was the previous entry in this blog.

Merck continues to push Gardasil HPV vaccination for more women is the next entry in this blog.

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