Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ill in Illinois?

Does the Illinois governor situation have anything to do with health insurance – that is, anything to do with the sorts of things we talk about at InsureBlog?

Well, in part yes, it does. Let's look at it.

Here is a link to a transcript of the hearing Friday December 12 in which Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan argued that the Illinois Supreme Court can, and should, declare the Governor “disabled” and therefore no longer “legitimately” able to carry out his official duties. Ignore her continual abuse of the terms “disabled” and “legitimately”. That is part of a political argument and has no place here.

But read the whole transcript and then consider these two little excerpts:

MS. MADIGAN: “. . . as you are aware, the state of Illinois is behind in paying its bills, in particular to Medicaid providers.”

MS. MADIGAN: “What we have delineated are all of the activities that were contained in the criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney . . . based on the apparent refusal to provide Medicaid reimbursement to Children's Memorial Hospital unless he received a campaign contribution from its CEO . . .”

These excerpts provide a revealing glimpse behind the curtains – they show how governmental control of the health care system is turned into political control of graft. It’s not a pretty picture: First step, withhold government funds. Then, extract political favors as a condition for freeing up the flow of government funds. Patients suffer – but hey who cares? You say, this is exceptional? Not representative of politics in general, you say? To which I say, yeah, right. And I also say, if more government control of health care is what you want, more situations like Illinois is what you will likely get. You, and the rest of us along with you.
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