Without question, the most controversial and widely discussed aspect of the Democratic Party’s attempt to revamp the nation’s healthcare system has centered on the idea of a public option. The signature opposition talking point involves the belief that government run healthcare is both un-American and socialistic. The immense irony of these points of contention is that a partnership already exists between the healthcare industry and the government. This union is represented in the political contributions and lobbyist efforts that have influenced the voting records and rhetoric of the elected officials in Washington.
This level of government interaction from the healthcare and insurance industries has led to a lessoning of quality coverage, combined with continually escalating costs. The greatest paradox of this whole situation is that many states are home to virtual healthcare monopolies because of these private/public partnerships. One would think that people who believe so strongly in the free market would be yelling and screaming about this very un-American and anti-capitalistic ideal. Instead many of the free marketers are more interested in lining their own political coffers than creating real insurance competition within the states they represent.
Financial influence is not a problem unique to the Republican Party. Democrats are equally guilty beneficiaries of the contributor and lobbyist stranglehold on government. The notion that government and the private sector do not already work in concert with one another, in most of the major industries of this country, is both naïve and uninformed. As a result of the cozy relationships and enormous financial patronage that exists between these respective institutions, most of the politicians in Washington serve as both elected officials and pseudo-members of these companies’ or industry associations’ boards of directors. Government’s involvement in the operation of private business is alive and well, and as usual the group that is benefiting the least from this alliance is the American people.