POLICY & BLOGGING: MedPundit on insurance and SARS

Sydney Smith at Medpundit is a great med-blogger but sometimes she drives me nuts with her inconsistency, such as in this criticism of Hillary Clinton’s rambling piece in the NY Times magazine:

    Except that SARS wasn’t a disease of poor people. It disproportionately affected healthcare workers. It was spread globally by affluent travellers. And it did its worse damage in countries with the sort of healthcare systems that Senator Clinton prefers to ours – like Canada and China and Singapore.

Hillary may prefer Canada’s system, but her plan didn’t try to introduce anything like it in 1994. And Singapore’s system is the HSA/individual consumer account nirvana that is favored by those who believe in the “real consumer market solution” to health care, a group which usually includes Sydney. And China of course is a third world country without what most Americans would recognize as a health care “system”, other than in the big cities. SARS came from a rural area, I believe.

Sydney also comes out and joins me in calling for reform of the individual insurance market. She refers to this article in the NY Times magazine which is another example of how screwed up the individual insurance market is. The solution? Sydney calls for mandatory individual insurance, in community-rated large risk pools. That sounds supiciously like the system proposed by the Junior Senator from New York when she lived in the White House. Yup, that same Senator that Sydney takes to task for her rambling article and views on Canada.

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