Argument: Private insurance puts profit first; public insurance puts health first
Richard Kirsch, National Campaign Manager for Health Care for America Now! "Three Reasons for the Choice of a Public Health Insurance Plan". May 15, 2009: "Putting you first. [...] The mission of health insurance companies is a healthy bottom line, not your health. That’s why health insurers deny care to people with pre-existing conditions, charge more if you have any history of even minor health problems and deny and delay approving care. [...] The mission of a public health insurance company will be your health, not the financial health of stockholders. A public health insurance company won’t have multi-million dollar executives with corporate jets. It won’t have to please Wall Street financial analysts. It will have a mandate to provide health care, from preventive care through care for serious and chronic illnesses. And a public insurance plan will invest in health care in our communities."
Barack Obama. "Why We Need Health Care Reform". New York Times. August 15, 2009: "OUR nation is now engaged in a great debate about the future of health care in America. And over the past few weeks, much of the media attention has been focused on the loudest voices. What we haven’t heard are the voices of the millions upon millions of Americans who quietly struggle every day with a system that often works better for the health-insurance companies than it does for them.
These are people like Lori Hitchcock, whom I met in New Hampshire last week. Lori is currently self-employed and trying to start a business, but because she has hepatitis C, she cannot find an insurance company that will cover her. Another woman testified that an insurance company would not cover illnesses related to her internal organs because of an accident she had when she was 5 years old. A man lost his health coverage in the middle of chemotherapy because the insurance company discovered that he had gallstones, which he hadn’t known about when he applied for his policy. Because his treatment was delayed, he died."