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(LA Times)   RomneyCare 2.0 may be more revolutionary than ObamaCare 1.0 because there would be more choices, but there would also be more risk   (latimes.com) divider line 120
    More: Interesting, romneycare, obamacare, President Obama, Hoover Institution  
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805 clicks; posted to Politics » on 23 Apr 2012 at 10:22 AM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-04-23 10:59:05 AM  

eiger: Competition works poorly in healthcare by the very nature of the "product" on offer.



Insurance.
Where you pre-purchase something you hope to never have to use, and the seller tries to avoid delivery on the off chance you do need to use it.

Now THERE's something that standard market principles can be applied to.
 
2012-04-23 10:59:07 AM  

qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.


Yup. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.
 
2012-04-23 10:59:41 AM  
That would mean more choices - and more risk.

The whole goddamn point is health care should be a zero risk game. There should be no risk and no reward, everyone gets health care and everyone pays their part.

We don't take risks with police or fire protection, everyone pays their part and everyone gets coverage, no matter what. Why the hell is unacceptable in society to let someones house burn down when we have a fire department but it's totally cool to let people die of easily curable diseases because they can't afford it?
 
2012-04-23 11:00:11 AM  

Serious Black: sprawl15: The only thing that could make Romney's plan worse is if it allowed competition across state lines.

What, you don't want every insurance company to bribe Connecticut into repealing all health insurance regulations just so they can all relocate there?


If there were good federal standards (doesn't PPACA have them?), I'm more OK with that idea.
 
2012-04-23 11:01:22 AM  

Mike Chewbacca: So we just saved them money and got nothing in return. But you better believe that when I clicked on that "cost of your benefits" button in the intranet it still included the cost of my health insurance (that I wasn't utilizing). farkers.


I use my wife's coverage because I get a 5% stipend for not using the coverage offered by my employer.
 
2012-04-23 11:01:25 AM  
The only way we are going to get cost controls and savings in our health care system is by cutting out the middle men.

It is the bitter pill that no one wants to face. It is the reason that folks howl at Romney/Obamacare--which isn't real howling, because both KEEP the middlemen.

We need to stop subsidizing the insurance industry. Period.
 
2012-04-23 11:02:15 AM  

Serious Black: Can God create a tax cut so big that even He cannot make it raise revenues?


Oh my goodness. I'll say no, because my belief in the ability of tax cuts to monotonically increase revenues outweighs my belief in God.
 
2012-04-23 11:02:23 AM  

BMulligan: qorkfiend: This fact doesn't comport with unfettered free-market ideology.

No, but it does comport with market theory (as distinct from market ideology), if properly understood. Anyone who understands the characteristics of an efficient market realizes that health care by its very nature can never, ever give rise to such a market.


When I have a heart attack, I always call around and check the prices for each emergency room. I call friends for recommendations, check consumer reports, etc. When I was about to go into surgery, I haggled a 10% discount from the doctor. He wasn't going for it at first, but then I threatened to walk and told him it's a 10% discount or you lose a sale. Works every time.
 
2012-04-23 11:02:32 AM  
Free market health insurance is a joke. All that means is the biggest insurer gets bigger and buys up the little insurers and does nothing for the consumer. For example - cable tv, electricity, telephone, natural gas, gasoline and internet connections.
 
2012-04-23 11:03:50 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: sprawl15: The only thing that could make Romney's plan worse is if it allowed competition across state lines.

What, you don't want every insurance company to bribe Connecticut into repealing all health insurance regulations just so they can all relocate there?

If there were good federal standards (doesn't PPACA have them?), I'm more OK with that idea.


Well, yeah, I would totally support interstate sales if insurance companies had to meet a federal standard rather than 50 different state standards, but we all know that's not what the Republicans are talking about doing. They want health insurance to be treated exactly like credit cards are. Create a dumping ground state that allows them to get away with murder, and move all operations there. Anyone who doesn't see that as the endgame or actually supports that as the endgame is a dumbass.
 
2012-04-23 11:04:53 AM  

sweetmelissa31: G-d


Sorry I did this for your own good
 
2012-04-23 11:05:28 AM  
your own g--d
 
2012-04-23 11:06:13 AM  

imontheinternet: BMulligan: qorkfiend: This fact doesn't comport with unfettered free-market ideology.

No, but it does comport with market theory (as distinct from market ideology), if properly understood. Anyone who understands the characteristics of an efficient market realizes that health care by its very nature can never, ever give rise to such a market.

When I have a heart attack, I always call around and check the prices for each emergency room. I call friends for recommendations, check consumer reports, etc. When I was about to go into surgery, I haggled a 10% discount from the doctor. He wasn't going for it at first, but then I threatened to walk and told him it's a 10% discount or you lose a sale. Works every time.


You can usually get a pretty good deal if you tell the doctor that you don't want the "sterilized instruments" package with your surgery.
 
2012-04-23 11:07:01 AM  

MFK: hey, you know what just about every single American can agree that they DON'T want in their health plan?

Risk.


Bad news, you have cancer. Good news, you get 15 armies next turn.
 
2012-04-23 11:08:27 AM  

Serious Black: qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.

Yup. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.


Don't forget using budget reconciliation to avoid the inevitable Senate filibuster.
 
2012-04-23 11:08:51 AM  
Hey guys, you realize every other first-world country on the planet has figured this universal coverage thing out right? Once you take out your dogmatic stupidity and corrupt insurance companies element, its really not that complicated.
 
2012-04-23 11:08:54 AM  

Serious Black: qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.

Yup
. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.


Er, what? The Senate won't be filibuster proof (R). I don't even think the Senate will be (R) majority.
 
2012-04-23 11:09:05 AM  

Philip Francis Queeg: imontheinternet: BMulligan: qorkfiend: This fact doesn't comport with unfettered free-market ideology.

No, but it does comport with market theory (as distinct from market ideology), if properly understood. Anyone who understands the characteristics of an efficient market realizes that health care by its very nature can never, ever give rise to such a market.

When I have a heart attack, I always call around and check the prices for each emergency room. I call friends for recommendations, check consumer reports, etc. When I was about to go into surgery, I haggled a 10% discount from the doctor. He wasn't going for it at first, but then I threatened to walk and told him it's a 10% discount or you lose a sale. Works every time.

You can usually get a pretty good deal if you tell the doctor that you don't want the "sterilized instruments" package with your surgery.


I suggest going with the used blood and oxygen options as well.
 
2012-04-23 11:10:02 AM  

Jackson Herring: your own g--d


t-x c-ts f-r th- w--lth-
 
2012-04-23 11:10:27 AM  

Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: sprawl15: The only thing that could make Romney's plan worse is if it allowed competition across state lines.

What, you don't want every insurance company to bribe Connecticut into repealing all health insurance regulations just so they can all relocate there?

If there were good federal standards (doesn't PPACA have them?), I'm more OK with that idea.


Even then, the problems are much deeper. The companies would naturally form up to less than a half dozen major nationwide insurance companies, and their risk pools would be so large that entry into the market would be farking impossible by companies that aren't already in. The most difficult part of letting insurance companies do their own thing is ensuring that new competition can arise, and letting it across state lines works absolutely contrary to that.
 
2012-04-23 11:10:55 AM  

Jackson Herring: She comes in colors everywhere: Jackson Herring: Ahhhhh his plan is literally "tax cuts"

Tax cuts and incentives for employers to cut benefits to workers.

Surely employers will simply increase employees salaries in an amount equal to their health insurance premium, right?


I've been contracting and consulting for about 14 years now. My pay rate has always been significantly more than full time employees. That is due to me being ineligble for benefits including health care. Even when I am working W-2 and have health ins available through the contracting company I get much higher rates.

I think that would last nanoseconds if nobody was getting ins through their employer.
 
2012-04-23 11:14:12 AM  

eiger: trotsky: Most of the mongs who parrot this shiat have no idea what exactly the "free market" means and the fact it hasn't existed for quite some time in many industries.

I would be hard pressed to think of any market where it has ever existed. For example, while I know this would probably blow most right-wingers' minds, government regulation was actually quite common in colonial America and during the founding period.


The Mayflower was a free market.. It had a contract and everything. -grin-
 
2012-04-23 11:14:18 AM  

lennavan: Er, what? The Senate won't be filibuster proof (R). I don't even think the Senate will be (R) majority.



The senate has a big chance of going majority Republican even with a fairly decisive Obama victory.

People hate congress more than anything else in the country at the moment, and there are a farkton more (D) Senate seats up for election then (R) this cycle.

Its so bad that even the polls that normaly show that people hate congress but love their own representation were actually showing a few months ago that a slim majority even hated their own rep.

This works for the Democrats slightly in the house, but against them in the Senate.
 
2012-04-23 11:16:28 AM  

lennavan: Serious Black: qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.

Yup. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.

Er, what? The Senate won't be filibuster proof (R). I don't even think the Senate will be (R) majority.


Odds are good the Senate will flip; there's too many conservative Democratic incumbents who were elected in the 2006 anti-Bush wave. Add in the downticket effect of a Republican presidential victory and there's little chance a Republican president would end up with a Democratic Senate.
 
2012-04-23 11:16:54 AM  

Serious Black: Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: sprawl15: The only thing that could make Romney's plan worse is if it allowed competition across state lines.

What, you don't want every insurance company to bribe Connecticut into repealing all health insurance regulations just so they can all relocate there?

If there were good federal standards (doesn't PPACA have them?), I'm more OK with that idea.

Well, yeah, I would totally support interstate sales if insurance companies had to meet a federal standard rather than 50 different state standards, but we all know that's not what the Republicans are talking about doing. They want health insurance to be treated exactly like credit cards are. Create a dumping ground state that allows them to get away with murder, and move all operations there. Anyone who doesn't see that as the endgame or actually supports that as the endgame is a dumbass.


But that's my point - if PPACA has federal standards, any state would have to "repeal" PPACA first to race to the bottom, not just "opt-out"; unless they can do this already. I know they have waivers, but no one can use those starting 2014 anyway - when the major provisions kick in.

Practically, 49 other states can add on all the coverage they want, but all the major players, housed in RaceToTheBottomStan (probably Delaware or SC), would still have to follow the Federal requirements.

Yes, I know the GOP has said they want to repeal PPACA. A plan that removed the out-of-state limitation, if coupled with a repeal/weakening of PPACA standards, is shiat (mostly because I think those standards should be raised). It's a lot harder for a state to get around federal rules (like PPACA as it stands) than it is for a state to operate without rules (like before PPACA, or if it was substantially weakened).
 
2012-04-23 11:17:28 AM  

Jackson Herring: sweetmelissa31: G-d

Sorry I did this for your own good


can you make fun of T-ts in a thread he isn't even in?
 
2012-04-23 11:17:34 AM  
Let me pull out my crystal ball. I'll bet Romney's favorite amount ($10,000) that if his plan were to be implemented that within a few years the tax incentive would cover the market costs for catastrophic coverage only and that if you wanted actual health insurance you'd be forced to spend a lot more. Furthermore, people currently covered by employers who have serious health issues or preexisting conditions would find themselves more farked than a guy dating a porn star.
 
2012-04-23 11:18:24 AM  
I had an argument with my Tea party uncle about insurance profits the other day. He declared that President Obama needs to back-off of insurance companies because they have the lowest profit earnings of any industry in America.

I countered that I don't believe there should be ANY profit in the health and well-being of humans. But regardless, if insurance companies were so pinched for money I'm sure someone would be willing to take their 3% profits on a multi-billion dollar industry.

It went down quickly after that when he started quote the "pillars of Conservatism" (most of which were religious) and how President Obama was in some "black extreme christian church" for most of his life.

/I swear to God you can't make this shiat up
 
2012-04-23 11:18:33 AM  

sprawl15: Dr Dreidel: Serious Black: sprawl15: The only thing that could make Romney's plan worse is if it allowed competition across state lines.

What, you don't want every insurance company to bribe Connecticut into repealing all health insurance regulations just so they can all relocate there?

If there were good federal standards (doesn't PPACA have them?), I'm more OK with that idea.

Even then, the problems are much deeper. The companies would naturally form up to less than a half dozen major nationwide insurance companies, and their risk pools would be so large that entry into the market would be farking impossible by companies that aren't already in. The most difficult part of letting insurance companies do their own thing is ensuring that new competition can arise, and letting it across state lines works absolutely contrary to that.


That end result is only inevitable if insurance companies and health care providers have free reign to set prices. Just establish a market-based all-payer system like Germany has. Not only do you kill that incentive, but you also provide incentives for people to create co-ops.
 
2012-04-23 11:22:07 AM  

Serious Black: Philip Francis Queeg: imontheinternet: BMulligan: qorkfiend: This fact doesn't comport with unfettered free-market ideology.

No, but it does comport with market theory (as distinct from market ideology), if properly understood. Anyone who understands the characteristics of an efficient market realizes that health care by its very nature can never, ever give rise to such a market.

When I have a heart attack, I always call around and check the prices for each emergency room. I call friends for recommendations, check consumer reports, etc. When I was about to go into surgery, I haggled a 10% discount from the doctor. He wasn't going for it at first, but then I threatened to walk and told him it's a 10% discount or you lose a sale. Works every time.

You can usually get a pretty good deal if you tell the doctor that you don't want the "sterilized instruments" package with your surgery.

I suggest going with the used blood and oxygen options as well.


Or find a couple of other people having heart attacks and try and get a bulk discount.
 
2012-04-23 11:22:10 AM  

sweetmelissa31: Jackson Herring: your own g--d

t-x c-ts f-r th- w--lth-


2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-04-23 11:23:03 AM  

lennavan: everyone pays their part.


I have identified a fundamental flaw in your cunning plan.

Also, you said rape twice.
 
2012-04-23 11:25:54 AM  
So he wants to "Bain" the healthcare system. Nice.

/looking through the Canadian want ads
 
2012-04-23 11:29:47 AM  
Wow. This is just epic fail. Because of the nature of insurance, it's a lot more expensive to buy on an individual basis than through a large risk pool like your work. Why is this so hard for Republicans understand? Have they embraced their rigid right-wing ideology to the point where it's essentially become a religious creed?
 
2012-04-23 11:30:00 AM  

qorkfiend: lennavan: Serious Black: qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.

Yup. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.

Er, what? The Senate won't be filibuster proof (R). I don't even think the Senate will be (R) majority.

Odds are good the Senate will flip; there's too many conservative Democratic incumbents who were elected in the 2006 anti-Bush wave. Add in the downticket effect of a Republican presidential victory and there's little chance a Republican president would end up with a Democratic Senate.


Bingo. I cannot foresee any way the Senate would have a Democratic majority if Mitt Romney won the presidential election. And just because it wouldn't be filibuster-proof would mean nothing. I guarantee the Republicans would start calling people terrorists or Communists for holding up the Health Care Freedom for America Act.
 
2012-04-23 11:30:18 AM  

Mentat: Romney: This is my health care plan and we should implement it on a national level!
GOP: Hooray!
Obama: Good idea, let's do that!
GOP: Boo!
Romney: We shouldn't implement my old health care plan because it's unconstitutional or something. I have a new plan!
GOP: Hooray!
Obama: OK, cool, let's try that instead.
GOP: Boo!
Romney: God damnit.
God: Hmm?
Romney: Um, sorry.


So basically Romney's the guy with both the ideas and the ability to get GOP support to implement them, whereas Obama's an empty suit who wouldn't be able to push through any of the good ideas he copies from others?
 
2012-04-23 11:31:19 AM  

Lost Thought 00: While at the same time he proposes defunding the agency that is charged with ensuring competition occurs by preventing collusion.


How else are we to achieve regulation capture? Seriously the Republicans have been playing this game where they cry foul at any regulation that makes for fair markets and quietly support all regulations that raise the barrier to entry and prohibits competition while at the same time capturing the regulators.

Deep Horizon is the the direct result of Republicans and their ideas of "free markets".
 
2012-04-23 11:34:09 AM  

Serious Black: qorkfiend: lennavan: Serious Black: qorkfiend: Muta: How is Romney planning on getting his Healthcare Plan through Congress?

If Romney wins he'll have a Republican Congress to work with.

Yup. And even if it is passed and signed into law in two weeks with no Democratic votes for it, it won't be shoved down our throats.

Er, what? The Senate won't be filibuster proof (R). I don't even think the Senate will be (R) majority.

Odds are good the Senate will flip; there's too many conservative Democratic incumbents who were elected in the 2006 anti-Bush wave. Add in the downticket effect of a Republican presidential victory and there's little chance a Republican president would end up with a Democratic Senate.

Bingo. I cannot foresee any way the Senate would have a Democratic majority if Mitt Romney won the presidential election. And just because it wouldn't be filibuster-proof would mean nothing. I guarantee the Republicans would start calling people terrorists or Communists for holding up the Health Care Freedom for America Act.


They'd just use budget reconciliation for everything.
 
2012-04-23 11:34:41 AM  

glaurunge: Why is this so hard for Republicans understand?


Congress doesn't have to buy insurance. Also, most politicians are wealthy, so buying insurance on their own is never a financial burden. To them, it's like trying to figure out which private school their kids will attend.
 
2012-04-23 11:41:37 AM  

Mike Chewbacca: glaurunge: Why is this so hard for Republicans understand?

Congress doesn't have to buy insurance. Also, most politicians are wealthy, so buying insurance on their own is never a financial burden. To them, it's like trying to figure out which private school their kids will attend.which private island in the Bahamas to buy.


FTFY.
 
2012-04-23 11:45:34 AM  

qorkfiend: Odds are good the Senate will flip; there's too many conservative Democratic incumbents who were elected in the 2006 anti-Bush wave. Add in the downticket effect of a Republican presidential victory and there's little chance a Republican president would end up with a Democratic Senate.



Cubicle Jockey: The senate has a big chance of going majority Republican even with a fairly decisive Obama victory.

People hate congress more than anything else in the country at the moment, and there are a farkton more (D) Senate seats up for election then (R) this cycle.



I guess I don't see it that way. I'm more focused on the (R) derp going on around the country at the state level attacking women's rights and unions and whatnot. And some states will have minimum wage on the ballot as well, which does wonders for getting out the (D) base. See for instance Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin (which is Herb Kohl anyway) and Virginia. No way voters let the derp continue on there. I just have too much hope for the country to think any of those seats get lost.

Then on the (R) side, I think Olympia Snowe's seat flips, Scott Brown's seat flips and John Ensign seat (hopefully) flips, possibly Orrin Hatch depending on whether a 3rd candidate runs in the general.

I that, mixed with (R) voters just not caring about Romney. (R) voters are not excited about a Romney presidency, the best the GOP can garner is getting voters excited about a not-Obama presidency. I see Obama in an emormous landslide and I think that coupled with the current GOP derp keeps a (D) Senate. To be an (R) senate, they have to pick up 3 seats because they need 51 or the D's will have Biden (we all know Lieberman is really an R these days).

And I have to tell you, Warren over Brown or I'm leaving this farking country.
 
2012-04-23 11:46:38 AM  

Serious Black: Bingo. I cannot foresee any way the Senate would have a Democratic majority if Mitt Romney won the presidential election.


Well, that's for sure. The Senate won't have a Democratic majority if the election is even close.
 
2012-04-23 11:47:34 AM  

HellRaisingHoosier: I had an argument with my Tea party uncle about insurance profits the other day. He declared that President Obama needs to back-off of insurance companies because they have the lowest profit earnings of any industry in America.

I countered that I don't believe there should be ANY profit in the health and well-being of humans. But regardless, if insurance companies were so pinched for money I'm sure someone would be willing to take their 3% profits on a multi-billion dollar industry.

It went down quickly after that when he started quote the "pillars of Conservatism" (most of which were religious) and how President Obama was in some "black extreme christian church" for most of his life.

/I swear to God you can't make this shiat up


This is why I don't argue politics with family.
 
2012-04-23 11:51:38 AM  

Serious Black: Philip Francis Queeg: imontheinternet: BMulligan: qorkfiend: This fact doesn't comport with unfettered free-market ideology.

No, but it does comport with market theory (as distinct from market ideology), if properly understood. Anyone who understands the characteristics of an efficient market realizes that health care by its very nature can never, ever give rise to such a market.

When I have a heart attack, I always call around and check the prices for each emergency room. I call friends for recommendations, check consumer reports, etc. When I was about to go into surgery, I haggled a 10% discount from the doctor. He wasn't going for it at first, but then I threatened to walk and told him it's a 10% discount or you lose a sale. Works every time.

You can usually get a pretty good deal if you tell the doctor that you don't want the "sterilized instruments" package with your surgery.

I suggest going with the used blood and oxygen options as well.


If you really want to save money on your heart attack have them send you straight home after your quintuple bypass. That hospital stay drives up the cost quite a bit, you know.
 
2012-04-23 11:56:09 AM  

She comes in colors everywhere: can you make fun of T-ts in a thread he isn't even in?


I make it a point never to make fun of T_ts.

/The missing letter is an "i," right?
 
2012-04-23 11:57:20 AM  
I believe the GOP when they say they want to "repeal" Obama's healthcare reform. I don't believe them when they say they want to "replace" it, at least if they mean replace it with something that functions well for delivering affordable healthcare to the whole of the population. It's obvious that their true problems with "Obamacare" are 1) a philosophical disagreement with the idea that everyone should have access to affordable healthcare (at least when short-term corporate profits are harmed by that social goal); and 2) A pathetic fear that Obama and the Democrats might get political "credit" from the public for enacting a popular and effective reform if the more far-reaching provisions of "Obamacare" are allowed to go into effect.

Point 1) is why I doubt that they actually plan to "replace" it with anything that would work nearly as well for most people. Instead, the "repeal and replace" thing is just a hollow lie they are currently using to deflect criticism on the grounds that they don't care about sick people. But, they really DON'T care about sick people: you can see this constantly in their faux-libertarian rhetoric on the issue. So, they would likely just "repeal" without "replacing", or would "replace" it with something that would be worse for everyone other than mega-corporations.

Point 2) is the real reason they immediately turned on ALL aspects of "Obamacare", including the provisions that were invented by Republicans and supported by Republicans just a few years earlier (like the individual mandate). They know that many individual portions of Obamacare are very popular with the public, if the public were to come to understand what the law actually does. So, they had to make the entire reform politically toxic, mainly through over-the-top rhetoric and a years-long barrage of coordinated lies. They remember what the New Deal did for Democrats politically, and they fear the same thing happening again. So, they are willing to try to destroy a law that should be very popular and is a step in the right direction on healthcare (if not even close to a comprehensive solution to all the problems), simply because they can't stand the idea of Democrats getting rightful credit for doing something to help the middle class.
 
2012-04-23 12:04:46 PM  
Considering the market model is based on profitability, and more and more how I am seeing corporations pad their profits by trying to maximize payment for the most minimum services possible, the less I am willing to trust my healthcare on market forces alone. A good example would be how the care given to patients at Walter Reed Medical center fell when the care was contracted out and ran by "market force" aka "maximizing profitability".
 
2012-04-23 12:32:28 PM  

WhoIsNotInMyKitchen: Hey guys, you realize every other first-world country on the planet has figured this universal coverage thing out right? Once you take out your dogmatic stupidity and corrupt insurance companies element, its really not that complicated.


Since when is America 1st world?
 
2012-04-23 12:37:15 PM  

heavymetal: Considering the market model is based on profitability, and more and more how I am seeing corporations pad their profits by trying to maximize payment for the most minimum services possible, the less I am willing to trust my healthcare on market forces alone. A good example would be how the care given to patients at Walter Reed Medical center fell when the care was contracted out and ran by "market force" aka "maximizing profitability".


Not to mention that basically nowhere else in the developed world thinks that it's a good idea to leave healthcare access to "market forces" alone. Everywhere else, it's either socialized, some public/private hybrid model, or at the very least, heavily regulated. And that's for the precise reason you state: the social goal of providing everyone in society with access to basic healthcare needs is fundamentally in opposition to the profit motive. Pure capitalism simply doesn't work for healthcare, because deciding whether or not to get an MRI scan is nothing like deciding whether or not to buy the latest generation of iPod Touch. No one "needs" an iPod Touch, but everyone needs access to healthcare at times (regardless of ability to pay for it). So we can't just deny people access to healthcare if they can't pay for it, like we can deny people access to iPod Touches, at least without becoming an inhuman and cruel society. The American GOP is seemingly the only major political party in the world (at least in developed countries), that is dumb enough to think that purchasing healthcare is like purchasing iPods. Or, alternatively, they are the only major party cruel, corrupt, and vicious enough to not care about people's access to healthcare if that gets in the way of corporate profits. Take your pick: either Republicans are dumb enough to actually believe that free market pixie dust will magically fix everything if applied in sufficient quantity (this is probably true of the Ron Paul branch), or they are cruel and vicious enough to not care that it doesn't work (this is probably true of the religious right and the corporatist branches of the GOP, for different reasons).
 
2012-04-23 01:03:46 PM  
Good. Look, ideally, we'd have something like Medicare for All. That's not going to happen, but in lieu of it, a system that looks like Ryan-Wyden wouldn't be the worst thing. Start with the ACA:

- get rid of this moronic, anachronistic employer-coverage based model.
- Premium support, Rivlin-style, in the form of a tax credit
- Keep the requirements that insurers must offer coverage and cannot drop
- Cap coverage costs
- Open Medicare for all as a public option to drive down prices
- Eliminate state exchanges in favor of a unified national exchange. Also, out with anti-competitive state regulations allowing for interstate competition.
- Allow gov't to negotiate with drug companies.
- Rather than an individual "mandate" to buy insurance, you're automatically covered by the Medicare, but can opt-out and use an equivalent tax credit (see above) to purchase private insurance.
- You're also welcome to purchase supplemental private insurance.
- You are absolutely covered regardless of plan for catastrophic care, thereby enabling rational markets to coalesce around basic (i.e. non-life saving) care.

Voila! A first world health insurance system that doesn't drag down employment.
 
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