Monday, December 13, 2010

Defining Health Care Reform

Paul Krugman got ticked off at somebody and referred back to a post he made last year about the benefits of “health care reform.” Sigh. It actually does do some good things, like deny insurance companies the ability to refuse coverage to people with the infamous “preexisting conditions,” and make inroads into their practice of ditching people who get sick, but Krugman decided to list a bunch of platitudes instead, pretending that the “reform” was about bringing down the cost.

"Health care reform does nothing, they cry — except for covering 30 million people," It “covers” no one. It allows 30 million people to purchase overpriced health insurance from private insurance companies, with no assurance of what it will cost, what it will cover, and what the percentage of medically incurred cost it will pay.

"ending overpayment on Medicare advantage," Except in two states which find the program so advantageous that their senators negotiated a continuance of the program in their states.

"making the first real attempt to use medical evidence to guide health care spending," And doing so in a manner which leaves the vast majority of the medical industry free to ignore that process entirely if, by doing so, they can maintain higher profits by continuing current processes and practices.

"starting up a wide range of pilot projects on cost control while empowering an expert panel to put the results of those projects into effect," The operative word being “pilot” meaning highly limited in scope and duration, established purely for the purpose of study and ending after the study parameters have been established. These programs do not actually limit costs in any way whatever, they merely spend several years studying ways in which we might do so.

"providing financial incentives to limit excess coverage," By “excess coverage” you mean coverage with lower copays, deductibles and caps. You actually mean coverage which does not shift the cost from the insurer to the insured. What you actually mean is “effective coverage.”

"and so on." And so on, indeed. Which is why Democrats were unable to campaign on the issue in the elections this past fall.

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