Saturday, October 16, 2010

Angle-Reid debate

I didn't watch the Angle-Reid debate the other night, but this is rather striking:
Reid: Mitch, insurance companies. Insurance companies don’t do things out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it out of a profit motive and they have almost destroyed our economy. Twenty percent of all costs, prior to our passing our health insurance reform, was because of health care costs. If we didn’t do something to change it, it would go up by, in less than 15 years, to 36 cents of every dollar. It would break us.

We need them to be forced to do mammograms. That’s why you see breast cancer awareness month, you see the baseball players wearing pink shoes and you see the football players having pink helmets. It’s because people dread breast cancer and you don’t get breast cancer, you correct breast cancer, you detect it, if you do mammograms.

Colonoscopies – if you do colonoscopies, colon cancer does not come cause you snip off the things they find when they go up and – no more. And we need to have the insurance companies do this, it’ll save money in the long run to do this.

Fox: Thank you. Mrs. Angle, thirty seconds.

Angle: Well pink ribbons are not going to make people have a better insurance plan. What makes people have better insurance plans is competition. And that’s what I’ve been saying all along is that we need more competition so that they will cover the things that we need them to cover, because that’s the things that we want to buy.

That’s how the free market works, that’s why our solutions reside in the free market and when we talk about what has destroyed this economy, Obamacare is destroying out economy, I know a company that has laid off five people because of Obamacare.
Harry Reid, the majority leader in the United States Senate, thinks that profits and businesses are destroying the economy. Angle thinks that competition is the best form of consumer protection. That kind of says it all.


Ben said...

Harry Reid, the majority leader in the United States Senate, thinks that profits and businesses are destroying the economy.

That seems a little overblown based on the quote above. Arguing that the high costs of health insurance are a drag on the economy--dissuading MNCs from choosing to put operations in the US as opposed to Canada, e.g.--does not seem particularly controversial, nor a declaration of war on business.

Colin said...

I dunno man, flatly stating that health insurance companies have "almost destroyed our economy" is pretty harsh, as well as ridiculous. Health insurance companies, far from the rapacious corporations Reid portrays, have a profit margin which average around 3.3%. (Source)

Had Reid said that health care costs were destroying the economy he'd be closer on point. But he didn't, and he isn't.

Ben said...

Fair point. Still, beating--even unfairly--the Health Insurance Bogeyman isn't exactly anti-business. It may be populist and even dishonest but--and this is not to excuse either populism or dishonesty--the race out there in NV hasn't exactly imbued with honesty or reason.

Colin said...

My interpretation of it as anti-business stems from the fact that Reid appeared to at the very least strongly imply that the economy has been nearly destroyed by a group of companies, in this case health insurers, pursuing profits -- which is of course what all businesses do.

Your second point is undoubtedly true, and isn't limited to that particular campaign. Politics and politicians tend to bring out the worst in people -- this ad might be example A of that -- which is why I would like to see it become as irrelevant to our lives as possible.