President Obama has explained that one of the reasons he supports a robust public option as a competitor to private insurers is to “force waste out of the system and keep the insurance companies honest.” Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), who opposes a public option, tells the Wall Street Journal that insurance companies don’t need to be kept honest:
“The health insurance industry is one of the most regulated industries in America,” said Sen. Jon Kyl (R., Ariz.) on the Senate floor Monday. “They don’t need to be ‘kept honest’ by the government.”
Kyl is simply expressing the conservative view that unregulated private industry functions best. He might want to sit down and talk to Wendell Potter, a former health insurance executive who has testified that he saw how first-hand how private insurers “confuse their customers and dump the sick — all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors.”
Last night on Countdown, Potter said:
In fact I’m fairly certain that the lobbyists for the health insurance industry and the analysts for the industry in New York were probably doing high-fives on the news coming out of Washington that the Senate Finance Committee might be voting on a bill that does not include a public option and also that the House is not going to be voting on a bill before the recess. It’s giving a gift to the health insurance industry no doubt about it.