Debate on health care sidetracked by politics

Nearly everyone knows that the current financial structure of Medicare is unsustainable, that millions of Americans lack health insurance, that premiums and co-pays are rising, that coverage is being narrowed. Yet the debate is not about how best to solve these problems.

First, the free market or capitalist ideologues attack health care reform as socialism, refusing to admit that the status quo violates the basic principles of free market capitalism.

Most consumers do not choose their health insurance provider. In most states a single health insurance company dominates the market, and there is no competition to force premiums down. Companies profit by reducing the number of consumers, not by expanding the market.

Second, health insurance companies are fighting desperately to maintain their high profits by enlisting political allies whose election campaigns they finance. Finally, there is the political battle whereby the enactment of health care reform is expected to benefit President Obama and the Democrats, Defeat of health care reform, labeling it as socialism, is expected to benefit Republicans by discrediting Obama and the Democrats.

Daniel C. Hudson