Saturday, November 17, 2007

Universal Health Care comments

It's been a long time coming, but a serious discussion of health care is finally underway. No matter who gets elected, the national health care baby is nearing full-term and will be birthed one way or another. Unlike Hillary Clinton's ill-fated efforts fifteen years ago, this time it will not be stillborn. America will not stand for it.

Proponents of the current system warn of rationing -- as if care isn't rationed now, by ability to pay. Nor do they mention all the personal bankruptcies related to medical costs.They warn about bureaucracy -- as if there isn't plenty of bureaucracy involved right now. The only advantage is that you get to choose among several private bureaucracies instead of being stuck with one big government bureaucracy.

They warn about lack of choice -- as if workers have much choice now. At a good-sized company, an employer might offer two or three health plans. But most workers are lucky to have health insurance at all -- and often, even when it's offered, it's expensive or has big coverage gaps.

They warn that people will stop trying to become doctors if salaries are squeezed. But doctor pay actually isn't a big factor in rising health-care costs, and so shouldn't be the primary focus of cost-control efforts. Even under a single-payer system, doctors should still be well-paid.

The blogmaster at Midtopia clarifies the debate. His post is full of content...too much to parse.
Go read it all, including the two links to his previous remarks.

I like that he's in favor of uncoupling health care from employment. One dimension of employer health care, however, applies to small businesses. One of our children and her husband are beginning the second year of a new business. For them a group policy which includes their little handful of employees is totally essential. In this case, employee-provided or subsidized health insurance is their most economical choice.

Oh, and while you're at it, read again the NY Times editorial of August 12.

No comments: