Affordable Healthcare For All Is Not Cold Fusion

Admittedly, Democrats are in the (suboptimal) position of defending the ACA, but if Republicans manage to kill it, that does present an opportunity to make something better, as there is no viable healthcare insurance option to the right of the ACA (‘Obamacare’). (That said, the human carnage will be awful if it is repealed. Revolutions are a lot less fun for those caught in the middle).

But if Democrats are thinking ahead (not likely), this constant belief about healthcare will have to be demolished (boldface mine):

I’ve been through all the conservative alternatives, and many of them have good components. Why not allow people to purchase across state lines? Yes, maybe tax deductions and refundable means-tested tax credits (as Avik Roy’s “Transcending Obamacare” plan suggests) could be used to incentivize obtaining coverage. Portable Health Savings Accounts seem like a fine idea. The new plan proposed by Sen. Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), and Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) would create an auto-enrollment feature. And maybe, as Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) plan suggests, virtually anyone will be able to form or join a large group to get coverage.

Each of these plans consists of some good ideas. But it’s like a novice trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube. Every conceivable scheme or solution creates new problems. None of them solve the problem because this problem is simply too complicated to “solve.”

It’s really not “too complicated.” Other advanced countries have systems that range from socialized medicine (the UK, for now anyway), to socialized health insurance (Canada–and Medicare and Medicaid in the U.S.), to highly regulated managed competition-socialized health insurance hybrids (France). They pay 30-50% less per capita than the U.S. does, while having affordable, universal coverage. This is not difficult to solve unless your ideology and reliance on campaign donations ‘makes’ it difficult to solve.

Or maybe this is just American Exceptionalism at work?

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3 Responses to Affordable Healthcare For All Is Not Cold Fusion

  1. AaronAaron says:

    Oy. He’s got a decent metaphor there with the Rubik’s Cube, but then whiffs it.

    See, the Rubik’s Cube IS SOLVED. Sure, the fun for the novice is in trying to find the solution on your own, but that’s because it’s a TOY. If lives were at stake, the novice could just google “how to solve a rubiks cube” and follow the instructions.

  2. anthrosciguy says:

    Exactly. Don’t put novices in charge. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Just go check out the various solutions (I’d suggest especially Canada, UK, France, Switzerland, and Japan for a variety of solutions in a variety of age mix, population density, and single-payer vs. regulated insurance solutions) and copy one.

    Unless the USA is exceptionally stupid or incompetent we’d save money and get the same results while covering everyone no matter which country’s approach we copied.

  3. paintedjaguar says:

    I think we can leave off Switzerland, where health insurance is more privatised compared to most of the developed nations. The US non-system is the most expensive by far, but guess who is number 2.

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