The long-awaited details of the Hillary Clinton health care
plan have been revealed. The plan has received lukewarm
from columnists at NYT ( href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/21/opinion/21krugman.html?hp">Paul
Krugman) and href="http://www.economist.com/world/na/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9833354"
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
The Massachusetts plan has, in turn,
(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
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.