In result, because I think we may be more in agreement than you would suppose, I want to explain my perception of what is happening with our economy:
I have come to see that most segments of big business have become "too big to fail". They must continue to exist and prosper due to a lack of other viable consumer options in the marketplace. Having a handful of giants in any segment of business works against the principles of competition in the market place that are needed to keep the free market functioning equitably.
We seem to find ourselves in a period of time where conservative principles left unchecked for too long have thrown the market out of balance. Although I am no fan of big government, or perhaps even this new version of government intervention, I have realized over the past several years that big business cannot be expected to police itself any better than certain branches of the government have done. We are in need of leadership and decisions that force a level of business practice that is not just profitable but follows fair trade in business as well. Market competition is the only remedy possible for capitalism gone feral.
With regard to health care, the CEO's of the insurance giants went on record saying that they had no problem cancelling policies of their customers when they became sick to a level that was deemed too costly to the corporation. Regardless of politics on any side, they sold the customer a product then did not perform as advertised of their product.
In a normal marketplace, this would cause a lack of return business that would ultimately impact the bottom line. Failure to provide products that were paid for by insurance premiums is not only bad business practice but should result in at least the punitive damage of loss of business and profitablity to the corporate entity. With businesses "too big to fail", there is little negative impact to the bottom line, however, as they can raise premiums without limitations. There is no other choice for the consumer due to lack of viable competition. In result, big business gets away with selling a product that can become worthless without notice, without recourse for remedy or refund.
Some corporations will not do the right thing ethically, morally, socially or even in the sense of good business practice because the only thing ruling corporate interests is ever-increasing profitability. By definition, a corporation exists solely to create profit. The only way to check the business practices of a corporation is to seriously cut into profitability through intensely viable market competition.
In result, as well as to circumvent the effect of corporate lobbyists , this administration is opting to provide market competition in the corporate world on behalf of its citizenry. I am eager to learn if in the end, the plan may be to operate for profit (as in the takeover of GM) which certainly will be a new concept in the market place.
Is it possible that the plan to create government participation in the market place could be viewed properly as capitalism working through the precepts of the free market? If so, this is a relatively new concept. I remain optimistic a public option will provide a much needed wake up call to big business, who have been able to operate unchecked for a very long time.
In the end, if this new force in the market place becomes viable, the United State of America will maintain its status as a capitalist country, with the government providing competition in the freemarket on behalf of its citizens. I have come to believe we are looking at the beginnings of a new hybrid capitalistic economy.
On the surface, it may appear that a liberal government is attempting to become much bigger than ever in recorded history in its efforts to save every corporate entity from failure while "giving away" market products to the masses. We have to look beyond the talking points to understand what is truly happening in the marketplace. Again, I hold, a public health insurance option will serve much the same function as Citizen's homeowner's insurance (with all its flaws) serves for us in Florida. We have seen that high risk homeowners have been served by a state run homeowner's insurance company. The same thing is possible by allowing the government to create a public health care risk pool for the uninsured and uninsurable through a public option for health care insurance.
I do not propose that the transition will be easy or without initial cost, but short of competition, how will affordable health care and/or the possibility of getting what was paid for through years of premiums ever be restored? The structure of our economy dictates that the insurance giants must be forced to compete for their customers. It is really the only solution short of regulation, which now seems to be a thing of the past. Apparently, due to lobbying efforts, regulation would face an insurmountable uphill batte in Congress. We will see what works in the end, but I truly believe that reform is needed in the insurance industry.
That is my take, do with it what you will...