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December 11, 2010


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Big fat government needs to get out of the health care insurance game - they will fail just like everything Big fat government gets it's hands on.

But Libs and the GOP seem to want our health care insurance system to become another welfare system which enslaves citizens to poor quality service and boot on the throat regulations.


Another requirement for health care reform:

All individuals must pay, out of their own pocket, some significant percentage of the service they purchase. The Medicare supplement that seniors purchase has severely inflated the demand for services. Once a senior has this policy in place they have no concern about cost relative to benefit. Same situation occurs in some private plans, particularly for medications. Example: 5 dollar copay for a prescription no matter what the prescription costs.


What you call Obamacare is not. It is Romneycare. Obama dropped his public option plan in favor of expansion of private insurance because Republicans forced it and promised to support it, which they in the end did not thereby rejecting their own plan which was modeled after the plan Mitt Romney put in place in his home state and later adopted in Hawaii...and was under consideration in many other states.

And your component #1 above was intentionally rejected because it would allow insurance carriers to grow by only covering younger people in other states. And try to drop older people in their current state. And #3 is part of the plan that kicks in 3yrs.

Bill K

I'm just a Liberal here on visit and caught Mr. Streeter's article. Can't say that I agree with many of the points made but was surprised that the writer did not give more consideration to the high cost of prescription drugs. Unless we confront this problem, average folks will continue their slide downward. Americans get soaked while our canadian and european counterparts buy the same drugs for 50% of the cost we pay for the same drugs.


Bill K - thanks for your note, which is timely. Check back tomorrow for Roger Bate's article, which addresses the very issue you raise about the high cost of prescription drugs compared to our Canadian and European friends. You're right. It's an issue that needs more attention. Our focus here is on trying to get some of the mega-cost drivers under control. But the drugs issue needs to be addressed.

Steve Ettinger

The emphasis on "job creation" is really a diversion, in the same way as Pelosi saying that the proposed energy bill was about "jobs, jobs, jobs." The essential questions are how to control health costs while maintaining quality and improving access for the poor. Of course, competition is generally a great driver of cost reduction, but that has not worked so well with health insurance, for reasons that you don't touch upon (adverse selection, information asymmetry, and product complexity). And, of course, both political parties made so many promises to seniors during the Obamacare debate and the election, that serious efforts to control costs may be politically impossible.

Rob .

Bill K. Another point that is interesting about the healthcare discussion is that fact (Drug costs) were essentially swept under the rug during the rhetoric coming from both sides earlier this year. The number 4 profitable industry back around March/April of this year was drug companies. Their profit margin was around 19%. The insurance companies were down in the 20's at around 5%. Yet they are constantly demonized? Seems to me they both should have been....

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