Monday, February 8, 2010

Is Medicare A Workable Model For Reform?

Alan Markow at CAIVN seems to think so, with his article entitled "Medicare: if it works for seniors, it can work for all of America."

I wanted to share with you the comment that I left:

If it works for seniors, then it can work for the rest of us. But because it doesn't work for seniors, it is unlikely that it will work for the rest of us. Your personal anecdote is a great story to hear, but many seniors don't feel that the one-size-fits-all system is very responsive to their needs. More importantly, Medicare is insolvent. It represents a vast, unfunded liability that will soon bankrupt our government's finances and require more crippling taxation (which hurts workers) and runaway inflation (which hurts consumers). It's hardly the model for a successful health care reform.

Is it seriously so hard to pass a short, simple bill that prohibits the states from outlawing the purchase of insurance across state lines? Please, someone tell me that they agree, because I want to bang my head against a wall! Why aren't more people, pundits, and politicians talking about this? Could it be that they don't really want to improve health care or tame the insurance industry?

4 comments:

wurzel said...

My understanding is that "they" believe most of "us" cannot or will not read and understand an insurance contract, that humans are generally poor estimators of risk, and that most of us don't want to have to fly to another state to sue an insurance company that isn't giving us the product or service we thought we were buying.

However, as I'm sure you'll point out, even if the three points in the above paragraph are true, we could still be better off in that scenario than we are now!

Anonymous said...

IF someone may clarify somethign for me. I agree with removing restrictions on where you can get your insurance nationally. However all insurance companies are owned by a hndful of parent companies. So how will this help if 1600 companies are really just ten different organizations who control the 1600?

Thanks
Sie (aka Anonymous) lol

Anonymous said...

I would love to see more responsibility placed in the hands of the patient. For instance, non-emergency medicine is not covered by insurance. All other insurance works this way except for health insurance. It drives costs way up. Look up "John Stossel: Insurance makes healthcare far more expensive" on YouTube for more information. Great video.

W. E. Messamore said...

"So how will this help if 1600 companies are really just ten different organizations who control the 1600?"

That's a great question. For one, such legislation will still make them have to compete more, so we'll definitely be better off than we are now.

But more importantly, the key aspect of this legislation is how it affects the government side of things. You see, the real enemy of your freedoms (and your budget) is this two headed monster. One of the heads is big government, while the other is big business- but they're the same monster.

On the government side of things, each of the states has a long list of ridiculous coverage mandates that drive up the cost of health insurance and make it less responsive to your specific needs as an individual. That's what's made things so ugly on the business side.

It's a way to transfer your money to the government's lobbyist friends in the insurance industry without overtly raising your taxes (instead they just mandate that when you buy insurance, you have to buy x, y, z, a, b, and c, whether you want or need that coverage).

The key thing about allowing people to buy insurance outside of state lines, is that they get to buy outside of state regulations. Suddenly a hundred new insurance companies could spring up virtually overnight to compete with the present cartel by providing you cheap, responsive, tailor-made insurance and good customer service to boot- without having to worry about pesky, corrupt state regulations.

Wouldn't that rock?

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