John Edwards new health plan

Feb 9, 2007

  1. Sam
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    Sam Founder Administrator

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    http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2007/02/paul_krugman_ed.html

    I can't believe that Paul is actually a real economist.

    Paul Krugman is relatively upbeat as he spots a flickering of light at the end of the long, long tunnel to health care reform:

    Edwards Gets It Right, by Paul Krugman, Commentary, NY Times: What a difference two years makes! At this point in 2005, the only question seemed to be how much of America’s social insurance system — the triumvirate of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — the Bush administration would manage to dismantle. Now almost all prominent Democrats and quite a few Republicans pay at least lip service to calls for a major expansion of social insurance, in the form of universal health care.

    But fine words, by themselves, mean nothing. Remember “compassionate conservatism?” I won’t trust presidential candidates on health care unless they provide ... specifics... And former Senator John Edwards has just set a fine example.

    At first glance, the Edwards health care plan looks similar to several other proposals..., including one ... by Arnold Schwarzenegger in California. But ... extra features ... take it a lot closer to what the country really needs. ...

    Right now, many people are uninsured because ... insurance companies “game the system to cover only healthy people.” So the Edwards plan, like Schwarzenegger’s, imposes “community rating” on insurers, basically requiring them to sell insurance to everyone at the same price.

    Many other people are uninsured because they simply canÂ’t afford the cost. So the Edwards plan, again like other proposals, offers ... help lower-income families... To pay for this aid, he proposes rolling back tax cuts for households with incomes over $200,000 a year.

    Finally, some people try to save money by going without coverage, so if they get sick they end up in emergency rooms at public expense. Like other plans, the Edwards plan would “require all American residents to get insurance,” and would require that all employers either provide insurance ... or pay a percentage of their payrolls into a government fund used to buy insurance.

    But Mr. Edwards goes two steps further. People who don’t get insurance from their employers would... purchase insurance through “Health Markets”: government-run bodies negotiating with insurance companies on the public’s behalf. ...

    Why is this such a good idea? ...[M]arketing and underwriting — ... screening out high-risk clients — are responsible for two-thirds of insurance companies’ overhead. With insurers selling to government-run Health Markets, not directly to individuals, most of these expenses should go away, making insurance considerably cheaper.

    Better still, “Health Markets,” ..., “...modeled after Medicare” ... offer a crucial degree of competition. The public insurance plan would almost certainly be cheaper ... — after all, Medicare has very low overhead. Private insurers would either have to match the public plan’s low premiums, or lose the competition. ...

    So this is a smart, serious proposal. It addresses both ... the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system. And every candidate should be pressed to come up with something comparable.

    Yes, that includes Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. So far, all we have from Mr. Obama is inspiring rhetoric about universal care — that’s great, but how do we get there? And how do we know whether Mrs. Clinton, who says that she’s “not ready to be specific,” and that she wants to “build the consensus first,” will really be willing to take on this issue again?

    To be fair, these are still early days. But AmericaÂ’s crumbling health care system is our most important domestic issue, and I think we have a right to know what those who would be president propose to do about it.
     
    Sam, Feb 9, 2007
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  2. Crabcake Johnny
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    Crabcake Johnny Guru

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    Well there you have it folks. If the insurance companies would just stop screening people their costs would go down.
     
  3. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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  4. salpro22
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    Very interesting critique.
     
  5. Sam
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    Sam Founder Administrator

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    Edwards says "Private insurance would be available through a mechanism Edwards calls "Health Markets."

    A comment on MR added "Private insurance would be available through a mechanism Edwards calls "Health Markets."

    Did anyone else crack up at reading this? Let me guess:

    "Patients and insurers will reward health care providers with what Edwards calls 'Money.' Americans will monitor their health through what Edwards calls 'Doctor Visits.' They will secure access to this money through a mechanism Edwards calls 'Having a Job.' Decision to provide or purchase various medical service will be determined by what Edwards calls 'Supply and Demand.' People will arrive at health care providers in what Edwards calls 'Vehicles.'"
     
    Sam, Feb 9, 2007
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  6. cadylou
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    cadylou Guru

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    LOL

    Melmunch - you're KILLING ME!!! Too funny . . .maybe you should let Edwards know that you understand his program! Ha! :lol:
     
    cadylou, Feb 9, 2007
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  7. salpro22
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    Would you be kind enough to tell us a bit more about that mechanism you call a "job." I am sure there are some on this board who would love to hear about that fascinating theory :lol:
     
  8. Crabcake Johnny
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    This my favorite sentence:

    "...imposes “community rating” on insurers, basically requiring them to sell insurance to everyone at the same price."


    Government: We're gonna require you to insure everyone at the same price.

    Insurance companies: We're gonna require you to bend over and kiss our ass.
     
  9. James
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    James Guru

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    Wonder if Edwards will propose to put himself and his friends your friendly trial attorneys at bay? You all do know that Edwards is a trial lawyer that has specifically targeted GYN Dr's in the tune of hundred of millions over the years. In fact he is known to speak for the babes that were damage in their mother wombs at the hand of the evil medical practioners in a seemingly hypnotic state in court.

    Paul Krugman is an "Asshole" even Cheney said so! Can't believe any one takes Edwards or Krugman seriously.
     
    James, Feb 9, 2007
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