INSURANCE INDUSTRY ADVOCATES MORE INSURANCE….FILM AT 11….Good news, campers! The health insurance industry has decided that universal healthcare is a great idea. On Monday they unveiled a shiny new proposal:

The plan would rely on a mixture of expanded federal and state programs and tax credits for workers and their families to purchase private health insurance and pay medical expenses.

….But the proposal does not address the key elements that would determine whether it is even workable. For example…it fails to deal with the creation of purchasing pools to bargain down the cost of coverage, or with reforms to curtail industry practices that exclude people in poor health.

Let me get this straight. The private insurance industry favors a government program that would purchase more private insurance for people, but is opposed to anything that would drive down the cost of insurance or guarantee coverage for people the insurance industry doesn’t want to cover. That’s quite a plan. Why not just ask for grocery sacks full of unmarked bills instead?

I’m not any kind of hardliner when it comes to Democrats taking contributions from corporations. Money is part of politics and always will be, world without end. But if I could have one wish on this front it would be for no Democrat to ever accept another dime from the insurance industry. In practically every area I can think of, the insurance industry is, and always has been, the enemy of liberal/progressive/populist reform.

No national healthcare plan that relies primarily on private insurance will ever be able to control costs and provide universal coverage. Conversely, every national healthcare proposal that doesn’t rely on private insurance ? i.e., all the ones that would work in a reasonably efficient and convenient way ? will be fought tooth and nail by the insurance industry. I don’t blame the insurance industry for defending its turf, but the fact remains that Democrats will never be able to tackle healthcare properly as long as they depend on insurance industry money. This is not an interest group that’s on our side, and Democrats should have figured this out a long time ago.