'Despite the flashing yellow light from the budget office'
Just as the economic stimulus bill wasn't really about economic stimulus
, the proposed health-care bill to rein in costs really isn't about reining in costs.
Glad to know the president of the United States of America
now expects our employers to start monitoring our non-work lifestyles, not just our work productivity. The nanny is planning to hire an assistant nanny for you! … Steve Chapman
dismantles the bogus competition/cost-cut arguments of the ‘public option’ insurance idea. ...
... At least Massachusetts is talking about
reining in costs. But here's the problem with this idea: Just as government screwed up by promoting HMOs (once the darling
), the government is now talking about new ACOs ("accountable care organizations"). It won't work. Here's why: It doesn't empower and hold individuals responsbile for both their payments and care. Individuals have to see, on their pay stubs, how much they spend on health-care coverage and see, on their medical bills, how much health-care actually costs them. Shoving off that responsibility to a 'single-payer' system and HMOs and now ACOs, while expecting others to pay for it (i.e. the rich, smokers, employers etc.), is part of the current problem. There's a huge, abstract disconnect between customer and seller.
Hub Blog favors universal health care. But I'd model it more after our 'managed competition' system for auto insurance. Sure, all the policy wonks can pick apart a broad suggestion like this. But mandatory car insurance does work with A.) common-sense subsidies B.) strong government guidelines and requirements C.) minimal bureaucracy.
P.S. - I'll point out the historically obvious in this entire debate: the ‘single-payer’ system (i.e. government-run) has been a long-held dream of liberals. Do not buy the argument it's about cutting costs. At the risk of sounding like a raging right-wing lunatic, I think it's extremely fair and safe to say that, in general, the left has long viewed and favored top-down federdal programs as the most practical and principled way to implement important social policies -- and not just health-care policies. Their rationale: Only the federal government can implement and run a fair and nationwide program that doesn't leave some individuals and states in the dust. Thus the means and the end are one. The debate over universal health becomes a debate over a single-payer system precisely because they're one and the same to many liberals.
How almost religious-like is the belief in a single-payer system? Hub Blog recently watched a classic small-town Fourth of July parade, complete with standard marching bands, fire engines, Little League squads, Cub scouts and Brownies … and a marching contingent of upper-middle-class types holding ‘Single-Payer Health Care’ signs. Not ‘Universal Health Care’ signs. ‘Single-Payer Health Care’ signs. The means and the end are one in their minds.