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Heavy government involvement in healthcare already exists, just ask Joe Lieberman

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.

Because he runs as an Independent, caucuses with the Democrats and feverishly campaigns for Republicans, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman is a fitting poster boy for this rampant and wide spread hypocrisy. 
Sen. Lieberman has been quite vocal in his disapproval of a government run, public option. He has even threatened to filibuster any healthcare legislation that includes this policy initiative.  Lieberman’s stance on this issue is in direct opposition to the constituency of his home state. According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 64 percent of Connecticut voters support the inclusion of a public option.
It could be argued that the Connecticut residents Lieberman is truly representing are the 106 insurance companies headquartered in his state. Throughout his political career, Lieberman has garnered nearly $3 million worth of contributions from insurance or healthcare related interests. Because Lieberman acts as a political nomad these days, he is in need of outside political contribution more than ever. 
Lieberman’s 2012 re-election efforts hinge greatly on the level of cash flow he can generate from his home state’s preeminent industry. Despite the feelings of the voters, Lieberman may very well be seeking a status quo in the practices of the insurance companies, so he can assume the same status quo regarding his membership in the hallowed club known as the United States Senate.
It is time for politicians and the public to stop kidding themselves regarding the government’s role in private business. This often scoffed at partnership is the one constant in the current system of government.  


  • lilliepurcel 5 years ago

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  • Tim 5 years ago

    It's interesting how today's leaders have turned socialism into a bad word and correlated socialized medicine with feelings/emotions of negativity. Somebody says socialism, and most people in the US shiver and think about how bad that must be; it's become a scapegoat. Meanwhile, the US health care system provides care based on profitability as opposed to wellness decisions. You go to the doctor, hospital, or ER and many times the care is provided because it's profitable, not because you need it. The result is less focus on basic care and more reliance on unneeded expense tests/medicine, which has only been multiplying in occurrence in the past few decades and resulting in the most expense health care system without improved results. The doctors should focus on care, not money, and when this is necessary in society it should be a socialized system. But I know how scary that sounds…