Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The prez and health care

Administration sources are indicating that the president is next ready to push for health care "reform." His " reform" plan calls for somehow "strengthening," through tax advantages, etc., employer-sponsored health care and expanding Medicaid.


Incentivizing health care as an employee benefit does NOTHING to eliminate the fundamental problem, which is the PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE INDUSTRY. This only empowers and perpetuates the source of the problem. And also, Medicaid (as compared to Medicare, which is federal) relies in part on the states and is just a nightmare.

DON'T SETTLE, Mr. President. Single-payor health care works across the globe. Take your mandate out for a spin and do this.


Carlos said...

Unfortunately, I don't think he will. His argument is historic; unlike other countries that have single payer, he notes the U.S. started out with employer-provided health care during WW II as a tax incentive for companies to avoid wage controls. It's this system the President argues that shouldn't be scuttled, but expanded, improved, made more efficient, probably by expanding Medicare to cover the uninsured, and regulating the insurance industry.

The question I have about single payer health care is an apples and oranges one. Smaller countries -- Canada, Britain -- are more homogeneous than the U.S. and can better provide economies of scale than a multicultural country of 300 million citizens, not counting the 12 to 15 million undocumented. Scuttling the current system and starting from scratch is a daunting task and almost certainly politically undoable.

But it's not out of the question. The President's approach is incremental. I think he wants to fix the existing system first, get everyone insured, improve and regulate it before considering single payer. He is also relying on the VA as a model for electronic records efficiencies.

Carlos said...

Oops ... meant to say Medicaid, not Medicare. Senior moment ... :)