Shifting to public funding of campaigns could be a big first step toward health care coverage for everyone.
By Jack E. Lohman
Health care is looming as a major issue in the 2008 elections, but a root cause of soaring health care costs is being ignored both by the public and the press, at least until now. I’m referring to a very conflicted system of political campaign financing.
Think about it. Had the insurance industry not been a major contributor, we’d have fixed our health care system years ago. Its biggest single problem is the huge portion of total health care costs – about 31 percent, according to a group called Physicians for a National Health Program and others – that are consumed by the insurance and billing bureaucracy without ever providing direct patient care. Costs for marketing, broker sales commissions, actuarial costs, gatekeepers, high executive salaries, increasing shareholder profits, even the high costs of their lobbying and campaign contributions are passed on to the patient (and in most cases employers, who have been taking their jobs offshore to avoid the costs).
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Originally published at Nieman Watchdog