Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:10 AM
Paul Ryan's plan to replace Medicare with a system of vouchers for seniors to buy health care on the private market ... ends the guarantee that all American seniors will have health insurance. The Medicare system we've had in place for the past 45 years promises that once you reach 65, you will be covered by a government-financed health-insurance plan. Mr. Ryan's plan promises that once you reach 65, you will receive a voucher for an amount that he thinks ought to be enough for individuals to purchase a private health-insurance plan. ... If that voucher isn't worth enough for some particular senior to buy insurance, and that particular senior isn't wealthy enough to top off the coverage, or is a bit forgetful and neglects to purchase insurance, there's no guarantee that that person will be insured. It's up to you; you carry the risk.
Mr. Ryan thinks this is a good thing, because individuals who are responsible for paying for their own health insurance will be strongly motivated to seek better insurance at a lower price. I think this is a terrible thing, because the mechanism Mr. Ryan is using to incentivize people to seek better coverage for the price is to expose them to the risk that they will suffer from disease for which their insurance doesn't cover them. The threat that you will suffer illness with inadequate treatment because you can't afford it and your insurance doesn't cover it is certainly a pretty strong motivator for most people to seek better insurance. But the purpose of insurance is to insulate people from risks like that. Furthermore, individuals do not have negotiating power when they go up against health-insurance companies. You and I don't know what the risks or costs of different illnesses and treatments are, and we don't have the time or expertise to evaluate the legal fine print of insurance agreements with the care and attention devoted to them by the insurance companies who write them.
The idea of making market forces work to bring down health-care and health-insurance costs is plausible. What's not plausible is the idea that average individuals are the best-placed people to be carrying out those negotiations. It's entirely possible to set up markets where powerful, well-informed organizations represent individuals in negotiations with insurers and providers in order to bring prices down, without putting those individuals at risk of losing their coverage or of having to go untreated. That's how the Affordable Care Act envisions saving money on Medicare, without running the risk that the elderly will lose their health-insurance coverage. ...
Also, this is worth a read too.
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:16 AM
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:21 AM
We're talking about reducing government deficits and you post a blog entry from a leftist biased dude that's pissed Obama's not spending MORE government money.
The medicare/aid fix is really nothing more than the prescription drug scenario where it's still a government subsidized healthcare that allows the person to select what's best for their scenario. And in cases where the poor can't even meet the new requirement, there are additional subsidy qualifiers.
Take that Krugman-scheisse out of here.
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:44 AM
Oh, okay. You're smarter than him, I forgot.
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:48 AM
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:50 AM
It's distinctly different from the Peace prize.
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:53 AM
I'm judging Krugman by his more recent ramblings about increasing government spending. You agree with him?
Posted 06 April 2011 - 10:54 AM