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A Health Care Boondoggle?

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Must-read story in today’s Los Angeles Times.

It details how the insurance industry stands to clean up if a health care reform bill requires Americans to buy health insurance, but lacks a public option. In that case insurers would get a lot of new business with little or no competition from the government.

The Times writes:

The half-dozen leading overhaul proposals circulating in Congress would require all citizens to have health insurance, which would guarantee insurers tens of millions of new customers — many of whom would get government subsidies to help pay the companies’ premiums.”It’s a bonanza,” said Robert Laszewski, a health insurance executive for 20 years who now tracks reform legislation as president of the consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates Inc.”

Later in the week, I’ll write more about the potential problems and benefits of a government mandate that we buy health insurance.

Meanwhile, I’ll note that the public option isn’t dead yet. And also that the public option isn’t the end-all, be-all of health care reform.

But without it, there’s a possibility that national health care reform will most benefit the insurance industry.

Dave Mann has been with the Observer since 2003. Before that, he worked as a reporter in Fort Worth and Washington, D.C. He was born and raised in Philadelphia. He thinks border collies are the world’s greatest dogs, and believes in the nourishing powers of pickup basketball.