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Bill Radke: The government just got done nationalizing General Motors. How far will it intervene in America’s health care? As President Obama meets with Senate Democrats today to talk health care reform,
insurers and drug companies are opposing the White House, arguing that a government-run health plan would muck up the free market and drive some of them out of business. Health care reform proponents are countering that argument, as Danielle Karson reports.
Danielle Karson: About a dozen health care advocates are breaking open their piggy banks and spending more than $80 million to get their point across. They argue that a government insurance program will create healthy competition.
Richard Kirsch is with the group Health Care for America Now:
Richard Kirsch: We’re looking to not have just everybody in government health insurance; we’re not looking for everybody in private health insurance. We’re looking to make that the choice that you and I and every American make.
But private insurers and drug companies worry the competition will force drastic price concessions and put them out of business. Kirsch says that would never happen.
Kirsch: It’s extraordinary to me that the private health insurance industry, which hasm you know, 160 million people around the country it enrolls, thinks it can’t compete with a new public health insurance option that doesn’t even exist.
Advocates say healthy competition could shave billions from the country’s annual $2 trillion health care tab. Congress plans to vote on a final bill before it adjourns in August.
In Washington, I’m Danielle Karson for Marketplace.
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