I have a question for you. Background: I saw a commercial today on TV about bill S391, one relating to preposed health care changes. And the commercial seemed quite biased, alarmist, and unfactual. So, having a few minutes to spare, I thought I'd look the bill up and read it myself. If you'd like to do so, here's a link. Healthy Americans Act.
The bill hopes to require all insurance companies to conform to certain standards deemed acceptable. Minimum care requirements. Also, it hopes to push insurance companies to cover more preventative care, things that detect and stop diseases before they start or early on rather than waiting until someone has a disease and then to cover treatment, which is the way most insurance companies lean now.
Some say the government shouldn't get involved in this debate at all. That it should be worked out in the private sector. That competition between insurance companies should be the only thing dictating how those companies behave. Others say that some regulation is necessary and prudent to make sure Americans a) get an acceptable level of health care and b) to bring down costs in health care that are too high because of a lack of preventative care.
My thoughts are that both things sound reasonable. I do believe in the free market system. And I do believe that in most cases competition does drive companies to improve and meet the desires of their customers. However, there are also cases in history where companies and industries have banded together to create a sort of monopoly situation. Where, with so much combined power, they no longer need to meet the desires of the consumers. But rather take the attitude "We're doing what suits our needs and profits best. What other choice does the consumer have?" And in those circumstances, the government has stepped in and said that they will set some rules, some laws, to protect the American people and keep mega-companies and mega-industries playing fair and keeping true competition in play.
So with that in mind, what do you think? Should the government step in under certain circumstances to set rules and regulations to make private companies function under a true free-market model? Or should they never step in, not even when people's health and well-being (as well as pocketbook) are at stake?
p.s. I'm not coming at this with a "right answer" in mind. I'm seriously open to your thoughts. But please make sure all debating is respectful of one another. Thanks.