I've been writing for months (first here, most recently here) that I expect health-care “reform” to turn out profitable for the same Big Businesses who are supposedly the problem — drug makers, insurers, and hospitals. At the current juncture, there are reasons to doubt my assessment, at least with regard to insurers. For one thing, both the House and Senate bills include government insurance plans (the “public option”). Also, the insurance lobby opposes both bills.
But there are also reasons to think that in the final assessment, things might still look rosy for Big Health. For one, both bills also include mandates that everyone buy and hold health insurance. Also, for the Left, the fate of the public option is looking troubling. Look at Robert Reich's recent blog post, and the money paragraph:
Our private, for-profit health insurance system, designed to fatten the profits of private health insurers and Big Pharma, is about to be turned over to … our private, for-profit health care system. Except that now private health insurers and Big Pharma will be getting some 30 million additional customers, paid for by the rest of us.
Also, if you're wondering how the final Conference Report will turn out, this Washington Times piece might provide a clue:
Sen. Max Baucus will be busy the next few weeks trying to steer a massive health care reform bill through Congress, but he will not be so busy that he won't be able to find time to hit Washington's fundraising party circuit.
Mr. Baucus, a Montana Democrat who chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, is scheduled to attend a “birthday party” in his honor at a Capitol Hill town house in two weeks. The price of admission is a check for his re-election fund.