The Corpus Callosum

Clinton Health Plan: Bad

The long-awaited details of the Hillary Clinton health care
finance
plan have been revealed.  The plan has received lukewarm
support
from columnists at NYT () and href="http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9833354"
rel="tag">The Economist.
 It has been criticized by href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitt_Romney" rel="tag">Mitt
Romney, oddly, as it is href="http://colorado.mediamatters.org/items/200709200002">quite
similar to the plan he enacted while governor of
Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts plan has, in turn, href="http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2007/09/17/health_reform_failure/">been
href="http://www.tompaine.com/articles/2006/04/07/massachusetts_mistake.php">criticized
(by Steffie Woolhandler and David Himmelstein), and the criticism has
been critiqued at A
Healthy Blog
(by Brian Rosman and Lindsey Tucker).

The main criticism that opponents have, is the cost of the program.
 Mrs. Clinton claims it will cost $110 billion per year.
 She claims that she has ways of paying for it.  This
cost is not too bad, considering that many people who have insurance
now are paying thousands per year, and still have significant
out-of-pocket expenses.  

No, the real problem with the plan is that it ignores the best and most
obvious way of paying for it.  The way to pay for it is to get
rid of health insurance companies.  That alone would pay for
all the currently uninsured to have insurance, and the total outlay
would be no more than what we are paying now.

The existing Medicare plan is among the most efficient known, with
overhead costs running 3-4%.  (contrary to the ideological
belief that private companies are always more efficient that government
programs.)  Hospitals and doctor’s offices would become much
more efficient too, having only one third-party payer to deal with, and
already having the mechanisms in place.

 

Comments

  1. #1 natural cynic
    September 25, 2007

    Gee, could all that money from insurers have clouded HRC’s thinking?

  2. #2 Tyler DiPietro
    September 25, 2007

    I would nitpick the idea that we should get rid of insurance companies altogether. We should still have private companies to provide complementary care. While the state program can handle health necessities, peripheral concerns (e.g., cosmetics) should probably be left to the private sector.

  3. #3 Grackle
    September 25, 2007

    The problem is that health insurance racket isn’t really an insurance business.

    Compare it to life insurance. If you have $250,000 in life insurance and you die, there is no way the company could pay out only $10,000, or simply not pay at all, without getting into trouble with the courts. Unfortunately, it would be handled by civil courts, rather than criminal courts, which have jurisdiction for fraud and theft.

    The health insurance racket is much like the car insurance racket, where the company gets to decide how much of what you are due they will actually pony up. They can even stiff completely you and not go to jail. They can certainly outwait you, delaying payments until you give up trying because you died.

    The way to fix this is to use existing laws against fraud and theft. When insurers don’t pay like they should, there are no settlements: the bad guys go to prison. As a result, insurance companies will quit the rackets where they can’t play fair and still make money.

  4. #4 mikal
    August 3, 2010

    I like your thinking. I get so tired of hearing about life insurance companies ripping off the individual. Sadly, it happens all the time.

    What ever happened to the law? Seems the rules don’t apply if you are a multi million dollar company and have your foot in the door with your state representatives.

  5. #5 Peter - Life Quotes
    September 15, 2010

    The Health insurance system is flawed and corrupt. The problem as I understand it is – no-one knows how to fix it! How do you take a system that large and just throw it down the tubes. The amount of money that is involved must be staggering. Don’t forget that our government gets plugged with plenty of this juice all the time. Especially at election time.

    I’m not even sure our government wants to take over health care. I think they are just playing the fiddle because it’s popular with some folks and gets attention. Anything to win the next election. If they thought going for Govt’ health care would make them lose how fast would they back off? It’s all a scam.

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