The Inevitable Health Care Reform Letdown

One of the problems for health care reformers is that they've had to both promise that their legislation will bring about both a world of difference and not much change. Things will be much better under reform, we're told, but if you like what you've got now, nothing will change.

The fact is, for many, maybe most, people, not much will change: For those on employer plans, premiums will probably rise faster over time than they would have, and depending on what sort of exchange and public plan options get put in place, some number of people might find their employers dropping coverage—leaving employees to buy coverage through the exchange.

But of course, Democrats have had to sell health care reform as the solution to all our health care problems. Certainly, many less politically informed voters are likely to think of it that way. And as a result, I suspect lots of people aren't going to be too happy if reform passes and then things don't change much. The fact is, even if reform passes, many people who don't like their health care situation aren't going to see much improvement. And, as Politico explains, that could have some consequences:

After all the controversy over the public option, people might think that everyone can sign up right away if Congress passes health reform.

Or that insurance premiums will go down.

Or that they’ll be able to shop around for insurance if they don’t like what their company offers.

Think again.

When it comes to the public option, for instance, only about 1 in 10 Americans will be eligible, mainly people who don’t get insurance through work. Only about 6 million are expected to enroll. The plan doesn’t even start until 2013.

And most people who get insurance on the job would have to stick with it. No shopping in the new “insurance exchanges” for them.

President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress stand to reap the political rewards if they can pull off health reform, by achieving near-universal coverage, toughening regulations on private insurers and transforming the way health care is delivered.

But Democrats have glossed over nagging details of just how limited reform’s reach would be for some Americans. And if voters figure it out, experts warn there could be a political backlash. 

On a note that's scary in a different way, the piece quotes Harvard health policy professor Robert Blendon as saying that even if the bill passes, the health care issue is never going to go away:

If the bill becomes law, Blendon said, the campaign for maintaining support for health care reform would only just begin. “It is not really over in people’s mind,” he said.

This is one of the side-effects of health care reform I suspect people think about less: Reform won't just mess up our health care system, it will infect our political system; the more our politics and our health care are tied together, the more our political debates will become indistinguishable from our health care debates. They'll become permanently intertwined, going on and on, forever and ever, cable news without end.

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  • ||

    The quicker the human organism is ruthlessly controlled the better.

    It's for his own good, after all.

  • ||

    The push for "healthcare reform" is based on three incompatable propositions.

    1. There are millions out there who are uninsured and not getting the care they need. This is then backed up by various statistical comparisons of lifespans between the US and Europe.

    2. Our healthcare system is too expensive and is going to bankrupt the country and make us uncompetive.

    3. No healthcare reforem will have death panels or government rationing and you will be able to keep the quality of care and coverage you have now if you so desire.

    You cannot have all three of those things. Yet, that is exactly what they are promising.

  • ||

    Cheap, fast or right. Pick 2.

  • kinnath||

    Good, fast, cheap, choose 2 -- that's the version I recall.

  • Barack Obama||

    The push for "healthcare reform" is based on three incompatable propositions.

    1. There are millions out there who are uninsured and not getting the care they need. This is then backed up by various statistical comparisons of lifespans between the US and Europe.

    2. Our healthcare system is too expensive and is going to bankrupt the country and make us uncompetive.

    3. No healthcare reforem will have death panels or government rationing and you will be able to keep the quality of care and coverage you have now if you so desire.

    to confirm once and for all that I am God.

  • ||

    You sir, are dangerously close to saying that there is no Santa Claus.

  • ||

    Err, umm, this is kinda hard to say, but:

    The Easter Bunny doesn't exist either.

  • ||

    Sure. And next you'll be telling that leprechauns don't exist.

  • Episiarch||

    Make no mistake, JW, before this is over, you WILL suck my balls.

  • Ska||

    I haven't showered in a while so they're nice and vinegary.

  • ||

    Well then, stop stealin' me Lucky Charms.

  • ||

    The insurance mandate won't seem like a minor effect to lots and lots of poor people. Even with the sudsidies. There are plenty of lower income people who don't like to take charity, and won't take the subsidies. They'll pay the fine instead, or just drop off the grid. Stop filing taxes and live in the cash economy.

  • robert||

    This has always been what I have seen for unintended consequences. There will be a considerable number of people who it is just easier to drop off the grid, and these numbers will never get counted.

  • ?||

    Insurance cards as de facto federal ID?

  • robert||

    probably have to have one to get a job.

  • ||

    If you remove the words "poor" and "lower income" from your post, it will more accurately characterize the probable activities of several Americans.

  • ||


    This is one of the side-effects of health care reform I suspect people think about less: Reform won't just mess up our health care system, it will infect our political system; the more our politics and our health care are tied together, the more our political debates will become indistinguishable from our health care debates. They'll become permanently intertwined, going on and on, forever and ever, cable news without end.

    You've just figured that out? Any Canadian or Briton could have told you that. From here on in, every tax cut or spending program the left does not like will be framed in terms of "the money could be better spent in providing better health services."

  • ||

    ...Or on Teh Children.

    There's always room for Teh Children.

  • Naga Sadow||

    There is an advertisement for some sort of "India Pale Ale" on the right. Hmmmmmm. Lagunitas? Is it anything like a Sweetwater 420?

  • ||

    I had some of their limited release IPA. It was something like 7%. Pretty strong for me. It would go good with some spicy chili.

  • hurly buehrle||

    Lagunitas IPA excellent on tap, so-so in the bottle.

  • ||

    The fact is, for many, maybe most, people, not much will change: For those on employer plans, premiums will probably rise faster over time than they would have, and depending on what sort of exchange and public plan options get put in place, some number of people might find their employers dropping coverage—leaving employees to buy coverage through the exchange.

    Talk about a rosy scenario! Jeebus H, what about these changes:

    (1) Fines imposed on anyone who doesn't have health insurance.

    (2) Employers dropping coverage because the public option gives them coverage to do so, and the fine for an employer not offering coverage is the less than the cost of providing it.

    (3) People who used to get at least some coverage through work now having to pay the full cost out of pocket or pay the fine for not having coverage.

    Nooo, not much change there. Nobody will feel a thing!

  • ||

    2) iirc, folks argue here all the time that employer based programs are a bad thing. If they drop it and just pay the fine, they save money.
    3)With tens of millions of new customers, the insurance companies will be more competitive and premiums will drop. The rise in out of pocket costs will be brief to nonexistant as providers jockey for marketshare. When the consumer pays full pop, the insurance companies will be under the gun to lower premiums.

  • ||

    Who pays to cover you?

  • ||

    Ahh, another beautiful day and my own personal trool is here. Lemme see if I got the talking points. I'ma leech. I'm on the dole. and I am not productive in a self-sufficient manner. Is that about it?

  • ||

    Admitting you have a problem is the first step. Good work.

  • ||

    Wow, who do you have to sleep with around here to get your own troll?

  • ||

    The problem is that effective real wages are going to plummet. Employers will drop their coverage of people, allowing their employees to buy their own insurance through Uncle Scam. But do you think said employers are going to, in turn, start handing over the $5-$10k/year that they subsidize employee health plans? I wouldn't hold my breath for that raise. They'll likely have to pay some portion of that amount to Uncle Scam for not providing health insurance (an effective tax increase on employees), but I'd all but guarantee that most employers are gonna pocket the remainder realizing that their employees don't realize they just lost a considerable amount of actual compensation cuz it was all hidden in the company insurance plan.

  • ||

    Not at my company. If my employer does that (I don't think we will because our CEO hates the govt and would rather provide our health insurance than pay a fine to them) I'll stand up in our all employee meeting and ask for the 6 grand they pay on our behalf as a salary increase. Then, we'll have 600 people who know about it just like that.

  • hurly buehrle||

    I'm not so sure about this. An employer doing that would offer his competition a golden opportunity to cherry-pick his best employees away. If I'm the competitor, and I see a chance to offer your employee a higher salary without increasing my own marginal cost/worker, that offer is a no-brainer.

  • ||

    But the government is likely to annex a sizable portion of whatever savings from the dropping of employee coverage as its punishment for failing to provide health insurance, thus decreasing one's effective real income. Though your point about competition among employers is valid and I should have realized that. Although, I think such compensation will occur overtime. Initially, I expect employer to not be so generous with their remainder of the savings on health insurance until the labor market influences of all this develop over a period of time.

  • ||

    2) iirc, folks argue here all the time that employer based programs are a bad thing. If they drop it and just pay the fine, they save money.

    Sure, but that will be a major, and painful, change for their employees, contra Suderman.

    With tens of millions of new customers, the insurance companies will be more competitive and premiums will drop.

    The people transferring over from employer plans aren't new customers. Given the penalties (not that great) and subsidies (also not that great), it is doubtful that more than a handful of people who now have no insurance will buy insurance. Net new customers? Not many, at best.

    And when you subtract out the people who are dropped by their employers and would rather pay the penalty than the higher premium, you may see a net drop in people who are insured.

    The rise in out of pocket costs will be brief to nonexistant as providers jockey for marketshare.

    I'm not sure why this would happen, since providers already compete for market share.

    When the consumer pays full pop, the insurance companies will be under the gun to lower premiums.

    Doubtful, since they already have margins under 4% and will have to carry the increased costs imposed by the elimination of pre-existing condition underwriting, as well as the expansion of mandatory benefits that will come with having a federally qualified plan.

    Bottom line: The number of insured is likely to go down, health insurance costs are likely to go up. As a plan to grind private insurance out of existence, this will work like a charm.

  • ||

    brotherben,

    "With tens of millions of new customers, the insurance companies will be more competitive and premiums will drop"?

    It's not like we're adding a whole bunch of new companies, we're adding a whole bunch of new customers. Prima facie, we should expect prices to go up, not down.

    Perhaps there's something I'm missing, I mean, it's a complex plan, and there are a lot of factors at play, but I find your argument that the mere addition of millions of new customers will cause prices to drop to be extremely questionable. It seems like we should expect the opposite.

  • ||

    Significant demand increases without corresponding significant supply increases = rising prices.

  • Xeones||

    No more beer for you, Naga. The new healthcare regime shan't be wasting taxpayer money on your eventual cirrhosis when we can nip it in the bud now.

    No more smoking or motorcycles for anybody, either. It's for your own good.

  • Naga Sadow||

    No beer? Dude, riots and mayhem would be the result of such a policy. Union peeps drink a lot.

    As for the smoking part. What kind of smoking? I hate cigarettes.

  • ||

    We should spread the word across this country asap that the govt will be making lifestyle choices for us, including no alcohol or bacon cheeseburgers. That will nip ObamaCare in the bud PDQ.

  • ||

    We are on that path without Obamacare.

  • ||

    The current front runner for the GOP, Huckabee, signed a law in Arkansas that says you can't smoke in your car when children are present. If that's the kind of candidate the republicans want, there is little hope that the GOP will be anti-nanny.

    D or R, nannyism is abound.

  • Episiarch||

    I think the healthcare regime's main concern with Naga is treating his multiple sexually transmitted diseases. So, no cougars or bar whores for you, Naga. It's for your own good.

  • Naga Sadow||

    No cougars? WTF! Fine then! But I expect a subsidy from the government for not banging bar whores.

  • Mike M.||

    After all these years of Breast Cancer Awareness and the government recommending that women begin getting mammograms every year at 40, out of nowhere they have done a remarkable shift and are now recommending the exam only be done every two years starting at 50.

    Mike M's translation: "This health care plan isn't going to lower costs a dime, so could you women please do your part and stop overburdening our health care system? Thanks."

  • Tman||

    BUT DON'T CALL THEM DEATH PANELS.

    Call them "Life Advisory" panels.

  • ||

    Right now most people get their healthcare tax free through their employer. Under Obamacare, if their employer drops them (which is a good liklyhood since the fines for not having coverage will be less than the cost of coverage) people will have to buy their insurance in after tax income.

  • Ska||

    Then there's the whole compensation calculation. Do you think you'll be getting an increase in pay to make up for the health benefits? But your health care is always part of your compensation calculation.

    Higher taxes and pay cuts all at once. Sweet.

  • Episiarch||

    EXACTLY. Most people don't understand that their health care is factored, by their employer, into their overall compensation. Somehow I doubt most employers will rush to make this clear to employees when they can pawn their health care off on the government.

  • ||

    No prob there either. The gubmint salary czar will figure out how much the Evil Corporations are profiteering from dropping participation and will order a corresponding wage increase for teh workers.

  • ||

    Is gubmint salary czar gonna be looking at retained earnings? Them companies just gonna keep the money in the retained earnings pile and pay some dividends to their stockholders. Those stockholders of course will be represented >50% by the federales by 2016 if the messiah is successful in his second media-backed coronation.

  • Xeones||

    Epi, now you've gone and hit him where he lives. I don't expect much of a response; it's hard to type comments through a veil of hysterical tears, as i'm sure you well know.

  • Naga Sadow||

    Well . . . it's like taking Epi's cocaine and pain killer sprees away from him. Do you really wanna be responsible for a sober Episiarch?

  • Episiarch||

    Don't be silly, Naga, I can always get cocaine and pain killers.

  • Naga Sadow||

    *sobs*

  • ||

    Don't worry Naga. You just have to find some Cougers who have the same STDs as you. That shouldn't be a problem. I think they have dating sites for that.

  • JB||

    All government, all the time, in every hole.

    That's what Obama and all his ilk want.

  • ||

    Leftists are like the terminator. They are always out there and they won't stop until they control every aspect of our lives. And they really don't even know why they want the control or what they would do with it if they had it. They are not even utopians anymore. They just know they want the control. They have forgotten why.

  • ||

    Nannyism is not a partisan affair, both sides are interested. Huckabee leading the GOP pack is proof. Hell, the GOP wanted to ban movies and music they thought was harmful to society.

    The problem will always exist if we try to view it as a R vs D affair instead of acknowledging for what it real is. When it comes to citizen control, government is very interested, regardless of party.

  • ||

    John, I recommend that everyone read Ted Kasczinski's(sp?) manifesto. The first few pages are his opinions on leftists and their motives. For a bit of a loon, he was pretty damned persceptive.

  • ||

    "For a bit of a loon, he was pretty damned persceptive."

    Not to mention he really needed to find a better hobby. Scrap booking?

  • ||

    I remember reading that in the WAshington Post when it was first published and thinking the same thing about his opinion of liberals. I can't remember what he said now, but I remember thinking he pretty much nailed them.

  • ||

    Manifesto here if anyone is curious. Leftist theory starts right after the intro and is marked plainly.

  • ||

    The leftist is antagonistic to the concept of competition because, deep inside, he feels like a loser.

    Ted Kasczinski is my new favorite troll.

  • ||

    That might be the only time a leftist feelings actually correspond to objective reality.

  • Xeones||

    The shitty thing is that the failure of health care "reform" will inevitably be pitched as justification for even MORE government involvement in health care.

    At a certain point it's no longer fun to stand athwart history yelling "I TOLD YOU SO."

  • ||

    Absolutely. To Obama and Pelosi and Reid and company, it doesn't matter if any healthcare bill passed actually improves healthcare. They just want to pass something. It gets the government involved, more power and money flows to bureaucrats and unions, and any failures can be blamed on "inadequate resources" (i.e. more power and money). They're sure they can always fix things later.

  • ||

    The point is to create a situation where things never get "fixed" in any substantive sense, but rather that the problems continue unabated, even accelerating the way our universe's expansion is, so that they can continually demand more and more resources and power.

  • ||

    Well, I think most socialists are sincere in thinking that government will eventually solve all such problems. They're wrong, but sincere.

  • ||

    JB, the good news for you is that a great many voters that chose Obama have awakened from their power drunken Bush/republican bitch-slap with a bad case of coyote ugly feelings for Obama. His policies are dying a slow agonizing death on the Hill. The only thing so far unknown is whether or not Republicans can avoid shooting themselves in the foot in 2010 and 2012. The golden ring is theirs for the taking. If they don't step on their dicks.

  • robert||

    I think everyone is relatively clear on this that repubs taking the ring is not a good solution right?

  • ||

    Unless Libertarians win the Presidency and most Congressional seats, that's about the best we can hope for.

  • ||

    The article brings up a really good point.

    If the bill passes, government will have healthcare tied around its neck. Congress will begin spending more and more time making laws to regulate the health industry to try to make everyone happy.

    Eventually, they'll have to make a separate "committee" just to handle all the issues with healthcare. Sounds a lot like the economy, right?

    My prediction: If the bill passes, within 15 years, Congress will create an institution analogous to the Federal Reserve (in that it will operate as its own branch of government with little to no oversight, no elected officials, and will control a massive portion of the country/economy/society) except it will apply to the healthcare industry.

  • Tman||

    15 years? We won't have to wait that long. We already have the "U.S Preventive Services Task Force", which has now changed its mind about mammograms for instance.

    Last year they said women in their 40's should have them regularly-
    " The U.S Preventive Services Task Force, an independent panel of experts working under the Department of Health and Human Services, recommends that women older than 40 get a mammogram every one to two years."

    Now they've um, changed their minds- "We’re not saying women shouldn’t get screened. Screening does saves lives," said Diana B. Petitti, vice chairman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, which released the recommendations Monday in a paper being published in Tuesday’s Annals of Internal Medicine. "But we are recommending against routine screening. There are important and serious negatives or harms that need to be considered carefully."

    BUT DON'T CALL IT A DEATH PANEL!!!

  • ||

    Maybe sooner than 15...I picked 15 because that will be enough for the system to be in debt (after the 10 years over which it's supposed to "break even") and will be enough time for many longer term effects in quality to manifest.

    Government health recommendations are one thing. I'm talking about a branch of government that chooses prices, who gets what, what technologies are used, etc. Not an agency that changes the recommended frequency of mammograms. "Recommended" will become "Required"

  • Tman||

    They already have a "Medicare Commission" in mind in terms of dealing with the predicted insolvency.
    The WSJ went in to further detail about it here.

    And on another note, how crazy is it that they already have started planning for its predicted insolvency? This is just madness.

    "Well, we know this going to bankrupt the nation so instead of not doing this we're going to be extra prepared for bankruptcy."

    It's amazing.

  • Mike M.||

    Honestly, I feel a little cheated. I've contributed a decent bit of money to the cause of fighting breast cancer, and our country is now so inundated with Breast Cancer Awareness that the National Football League has many of its players wearing pink shoes and wristbands for weeks on end. It has been one of the biggest public awareness campaigns in years.

    And after all this, we're suddenly told that it's not as big a deal as we thought, and don't worry about those mammograms after all, you mid 40s women. They must think we're pretty stupid.

  • hurly buehrle||

    And they'll call it CMS.

    Oops, too late.

  • Tony||

    When healthcare passes, not much will change, except all of our freedom will be forever stripped away!

  • ||

    Hi Tony, hope you're having a great day. Hey, why don't you give us a verse or two. We already know the chorus by heart, Thanks, ben

  • Attorney||

    The fact is, for many, maybe most, people, not much will change

    Beg to differ. In addition to what RCD says above, so very much will change. Of course, it may not be immediately perceptible change to most people, but that's the way the statists like it:

    - The public option will drive out private plans and thus bring about UHC.

    - The feds will have a plausible justification for why they should become involved in every aspect of our private lives that they're not already involved in.

    - The Commerce Clause will become truly meaningless. Article I will henceforth mean simply, "Congress can do anything not barred by the Bill of Rights."

    - Americans will become yet more infected with the idea that they need the government to make the hard decisions for them.

  • ||

    IOW, just like the UK.

    Funny, I thought we fought a war to not be part of them.

  • Attorney||

    Haven't you heard? The past is racist.

  • Thew Gobbler||

    Did we get a signed surrender?

  • Obama||

    The British were stabbed in the back!

  • ||

    Believe me, sometimes you vote for change, and it don't always happen.

  • ||

    JB, the good news for you is that a great many roughly seven voters that chose Obama have awakened from their power drunken Bush/republican bitch-slap with a bad case of coyote ugly feelings for Obama.

    How I wish you were right, though.

  • PR||

    The fact is, for many, maybe most, people, not much will change...

    Reform won't just mess up our health care system, it will infect our political system; the more our politics and our health care are tied together, the more our political debates will become indistinguishable from our health care debates. They'll become permanently intertwined, going on and on, forever and ever, cable news without end.

  • Rich||

    And if voters figure it out, experts warn there could be a political backlash.

    As bad as that backlash against Muslims?

  • T||

    I give up. Can somebody just let me know when it becomes acceptable to shoot people and set shit on fire? That's really all I have to look forward to anymore.

  • ||

    reasons for the democrats to push healthcare:

    1) healthcare workers will be unionized, like in Canada

    2) the opportunities for graft are astounding: where to open/close hospitals, which drugs to approve, which diseases to target, etc.

    3) every time the republicans propose to spend money on something else, or reduce the tax burden, the democrats will come back with "but we should spend that money on healthcare". It changes the basic nature of political debate, and after a while Americans will believe that without govt we would all die in the streets (as they believe in Canada, UK, etc).

    That said, there is no stopping this freight train.

  • creech||

    In twenty years, many of us won't be around to care anymore. Yet polls show the youngsters are the group most in favor of Obamacare. Unless they can be persuaded NOW to oppose this, they will not be able to significantly amend it later. Then they'll deserve what they get. One hopes the grandkids who love liberty enough will be allowed to set up an independent nation (Rocky Mountain Republic?)that can thumb its nose at the Tonys, Chads, Barracks, and Wesley Mouchs in our American future.

  • ||

    "Yet polls show the youngsters are the group most in favor of Obamacare."

    I, for one, am not. Many friends at school are of a similar, libertarian leaning opinion.

    Obama was able to rally the college students to his cause, but Ron Paul was also able to get quite a bit of support.

    Unfortunately, numbers tend to determine elections. Hopefully, people will start paying attention to the Constitution and a tyranny of the majority can be prevented so our country doesn't vote itself into a socialist state.

  • Tony||

    Well youngsters didn't grow up benefiting from midcentury liberal prosperity. But don't worry, I'm sure we'll all grow old and bitch about getting the government's grubby hands off our Obamacare.

  • ||

    From this country's birth, the generation in power has always passed on problems to the generation to come after (slavery was a big one).

    These days, the up coming voting generation has to deal with all the parasitic, financial sink holes that have been created.

    Hopefully, we can stop the current, and any future administration, from putting the next two or three generations in automatic debt. The idea of future generations basically being born into a sort of indentured servitude is disgusting.

    You, Tony, are representative of the "get something for nothing" attitude that many people in this country hold.

    May I suggest trying not to live off the blood, sweat, and tears of other people's efforts?

    At the very least, Nature itself is very punishing of that kind of attitude. Society and civilization shelter lesser people and allow them trudge on in ignorance.

    Trudge on, Tony.

  • Tony||

    You know, just because you claim to be a good, noble, self-sufficient producer and call others parasites doesn't make it true. You benefit from society in ways you aren't even aware of. You wouldn't last any longer than anyone else if you had to truly start from scratch and build your own life completely independently.

  • ||

    In Tony's world, the fact that anyone benefits from government is proof that individuals should always be subservient to the state. Anything else is just blind ingratitude.

  • Attorney||

    Indeed. My own highly unscientific and self-serving analysis of Obamacare supporters:

    1. People who are already sick without insurance, are not eligible for Medicare or Medicaid, and want to get their treatment paid for.

    2. People at the bottom of the totem pole (because they're either just starting out or unable to get better jobs), who have no confidence in their ability to fend for themselves. (I think this is why Obamacare seems to have so much support among college kids.)

    3. People who mean well but are tragically uninformed.

    4. Power-mongers and parasites who see a big juicy opportunity.

  • ||

    2) iirc, folks argue here all the time that employer based programs are a bad thing. If they drop it and just pay the fine, they save money.

    All fine. My point was that, contra Suderman, this will have a painful impact on a lot of people - those who have lost employer-subsidized health care.

    3)With tens of millions of new customers, the insurance companies will be more competitive and premiums will drop.

    Those shifting over from employer plans won't be new customers, and some of them won't be customers at all as they choose to pay the (cheaper) fine.

    Since the fines aren't that big, and the subsidies aren't that great, many who aren't insured now won't be new customers either.

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the current proposal resulted in fewer customers for health insurance, private or public option.

    The rise in out of pocket costs will be brief to nonexistant as providers jockey for marketshare.

    Providers compete for marketshare now. I expect out of pocket costs to individuals to go up. They certainly will for people who are dropped from employer plans and go bare. There's no reason for this plan to change the current trend toward greater out of pocket costs (co-pays, deductibles) under whatever private plans continue.

    When the consumer pays full pop, the insurance companies will be under the gun to lower premiums.

    Doubtful. Insurers already operate at razor-thin margins (sub-4%). Their costs will go up, as pre-existing condition underwriting goes away and they have to meet whatever mandatory benefit package is imposed by the feds. If anything, premiums will go up.

    As a plan to grind private insurers out of business, the current proposals should work like a charm. As a plan to reduce costs at any level and insure more people, not so much.

  • ||

    Insurers already operate at razor-thin margins (sub-4%).

    Do you have links for this. You (or somebody, my memory is crap) posted some before that I read. When I tell this to other people, I feel like I should duck real fast.

  • ||

    actually, the current margin is 3.4%

    http://biz.yahoo.com/p/sum_qpmd.html

    there is no magic pot of money to be had by squeezing the health insurance companies

    but of course the point is to drive them out of business, so the government can take over

  • ||

    We're so fucked.

  • ||

    It's simply not true that premiums will rise faster if reform passes. It could be true, but we don't know yet. In fact, if the public option is robust it almost certainly won't happen thanks to this already successful model: http://cli.gs/23yYaM/

  • ChristineWithRegence||

    What's missing is a discussion about overall costs. How come I don't know the cost of a test or an office visit? Why do I hesitate to ask "Why?," "How much?" and "Is it necessary?" Check out this fun, short video. It makes you wonder why our health care system is set up the way it is.
    www.whatstherealcost.org/45secondstoshare

  • LifeStrategies||

    At least one expert - Harvard health policy professor Robert Blendon - is telling the truth in saying that even if the bill passes, the health care issue is never going to go away.

    When will people realize that government involvement inevitably means higher costs and worse service. Government failure is endemic since, without the benefits - motivation - of competition, there's no inbuilt incentive to improve...

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  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
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  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

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