Restating the Obvious

There’s more commentary today on health insurance rescissions. Many are angry, but I’m not seeing anyone else state the obvious — the CEO’s insistence that they can’t stop recissions and make a profit; the implicit acknowledgment that they can’t insure people with preexisting conditions and make a profit; amounts to a confession that the private health insurance industry cannot solve the health care crisis. The “free market” is inadequate to the task of paying for modern health care.

And see Digby — the CEOs of the 23 top health insurance companies received $14.9 billion in compensation over a five year-period. You can provide a lot of health care for $14.9 billion.

What are the righties saying? So far the only reaction I’ve seen is from Erick Erickson of RedState. Taking his comments in reverse —

More damning, the White House cannot think of a single example of a single-payer system in the world that works.

Apparently White House spokesman Robert Gibbs was caught inexcusably flat-footed on a question about which single-payer system in the world “works.” I can answer that, but first let’s turn the question around — name a single nation in which 21st-century health care is being delivered by a “free market” system, at all.

{Cricket Chirps}

The United States is the only industrialized democracy that pretends to have a “free market” system, although in fact a large part of our health care costs are being paid by government, anyway. And the World Health Organization says ranks the U.S. at #37, behind Costa Rica, in terms of quality and fairness of our system.

In other words, there are 36 nations with some form of government-paid national health care system, several of which are single-payer, that are doing a better job than we’re doing in delivering health care.

Erickson also says,

Jay Rockefeller, Ted Kennedy, Barack Obama, and a host of liberal writers admit that the government will determine whether or not to treat you based on whether the government thinks the cost/benefit analysis makes sense.

Does anyone have any idea where Erickson got that idea? I’ve seen no such admission, and of course Erickson doesn’t provide a link.