POLICY: Another balanced debate–what did you expect from the WSJ editorial pages?

So in this online "debate" about consumer health care called Consumer Choice: Can It Cure The Nation’s Health-Care Ills? the WSJ editorial page shows its lack of bias by having two HSA advocates, and one very tired liberal debunking them.  And Reischauer obviously couldn’t type as fast as the other two.

And no one mentioned the 80/20 rule, nor the RAND experiment that showed that needed care was forgone as often as un-needed care. And despite the fact that the two HSA loonies claim that we do not apparently ration by price, we have a huge rate of bankruptcies caused by medical bills, and huge numbers of the poor are unable to afford reccomended care or have trouble paying for care compared to poor people in other countries. But why bother using actual data published in peer reviewed journals when you can wax poetic telling lies about South Africa while ignoring what’s going on in Singapore. But it’s a "debate" so why sweat the small stuff?

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12 replies »

  1. Jib, why can’t we ask those that sell dangerous group plans if they are warning their clients about the termination clause?
    I have never got one client from this blog.
    There are some topics, like employer-based insurance termination clause, that will not be tolerated at this blog, ha ha.
    Merry Christmas Jib and Matthew.

  2. Gregory,
    Sorry. This is uncalled for and completely wrong. If you want dialogue, I am positive you will find it here. I have a feeling that the tone of Matthew’s comments had a lot to with this thread, which has been getting out of hand.
    NO LINKS TO Ads or I’m banning you.
    NO FLAMES of Matthew or other visitors.
    I am seriously considering issuing you with a 45-day suspension anyway. This is not acceptable. Period.
    Matthew may be committed to freedom of speech, but I see no reason to allow this to continue considering how much damage you’re doing to the general tone and level of the conservation here.
    Do it again, and you’re gone.

  3. Greory Judd, you advertise that you people are employer-based health insurance HSA experts. Please, Aetna, on your home page, makes a living terminating sick employees health insurance when they become too sick to work. How do you sleep at night?
    Paying $125 to advertise on your so-called report is a waiste of time. You should consider reporting the truth on Aetna. That would be odd for you.
    Plus, Goodman in 2000 said health insurance costs $4,000 a year per family. Yet Iowa families of 4 were getting MSA insurance for $80 a month. Goodman is a little slow. Gregory, you don’t put dangerous employer-based health insurance on your own family do you? You just sell that crap and put the good stuff on your own family, am I correct?

  4. “Introducing a universal insurance system is the way to fix that problem, and these people are forefront in the opposition to ot.”
    Matthew, you’ve created great forum for discussion on the big healthcare issues, & you’re getting big press attention for it. I’m here because I saw something about THCB in the very same WSJ some weeks back.
    Why not ask Goodman for a few minutes of his time here on the issue you’re addressing?
    You may find he’s more reasonable on matters pertaining to the 80/20 issue you frequently allude to than you believe.
    There are a variety of ways to address the very real challenges in financing appropriate and expensive care for the relatively small portion of the US populace who need that help. ‘Universal coverage’ (a term within which there’s also considerable room for gradations of meaning) is “a” way – but probably too few people REALLY believe it’s THE way – to fix the problem you’ve addressed here (the reasons too few people really believe in universal coverage – enough to spend THEIR money on it – are probably a good subject for another thread).
    (truth in posting: I publish HSA Report, which follows HSA/HDHP & other developments in the world of consumer-directed health plans [not in love with the term…].)

  5. The proportion of women who had a miscarriage suffering distress decreased during the study period, to 22.5% at six months and to just 2.6% at two years and five years.
    But among the abortion group 25.7% were still experiencing distress after six months, and [20%] at five years.
    The researchers also said that women who had an abortion had to make an effort to avoid thinking about the event. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/4520576.stm
    The Rx for depressed “Mental” women can be $500/month.

  6. Matthew I hate to correct you but you just said that your “group” was terminated, Advantage Pac, or something. If you really had individual insurance you could not have been singled out for termination, sorry. Then you advocate “short term” insurance so if people get sick, again the insurance terminates.
    Matthew, do you know the percentage of women who are “depressed” 5 years after an abortion versus a miscarriage? You Brits are the ones with the states. 10% of all abortions are done in New York.

  7. Agreed. No one else is nice in American politics, or were you asleep for the past 14 years?

  8. deliberately going to make life worse for many people
    they are the intellectually dishonest ones
    completely skip the hard questions
    they have the WSJ bending over backwards for them
    I’m screwed if I see why I personally should be nice and polite
    I think your remarks illustrate what I said rather nicely. Or, not so nicely.
    Ciao bello.

  9. If we were disagreeing over nice academic points that would be fine, but people like Pauly, Goodman et al are part of a wider “movement” that is deliberately going to make life worse for many people, who are already extremely vulnerable. Pauly is the guy who said that the individual market works well for 80% of the people in it–and he gives it much needed academic cover. Well I’m in the individual insurance market and I just had my insurance unilaterally cancelled and will be scrambling to find more.
    Introducing a universal insurance system is the way to fix that problem, and these people are forefront in the opposition to ot. Plus they are the intellectually dishonest ones, NOT the universal insurance crowd who are much more likely to actually answer the charges laid against them. The HSA crowd never have done, and even in the latest Cato book completely skip the hard questions.
    I’m screwed if I see why I personally should be nice and polite to them, when they have the WSJ bending over backwards for them already. Are they offering to pay for the increase in insurance costs I’m about to get?

  10. Trapier, it may be even worse than politicized. Discourse is morphing into a vicious form of “identity politics”.
    People cannot disagree any more. Today’s rule is to establish that the other is not only abysmally ignorant and illogical, but also thoroughly malicious and evil. The sides battle to destroy their opposition, because one side must lose for the other to win.
    It’s one of the pleasures of our age.

  11. The best point made in the discussion is: (from John Goodman)– “Consumer driven health care is not about shifting costs to employees. It is instead about shifting money…”
    It is “intentionally misleading” to say that employees do not already pay for their health insurance. Total compensation=wages + benefits.
    Proponents of national health insurance do not want this data out there because it will expose this fact, and empower people with information.
    The other side does not want this data out there because it will expose employers to the fact that total compensation is much lower for employees that do not utilize available healthcare benefits.

  12. Unfare debate? True. But is the NYTimes any different? I think they should just be honest and spin off the editorial section as a liberal policy think tank. Meanwhile you offhandedly dismiss Ivy League professors ‘stupid’ because they reach conclusions you don’t like (e.g., Mark Pauly at UPenn who gained tenure there in part for proving a nobel laureate and founder of health economics wrong) and question the sanity of those who disagree with your views on policy (e.g., the ‘HSA loonies’ who together hold one PhD in economics from Columbia and one from Rochester and maintain a faculty position at the UNC School of Public Health – tied with Harvard SPH and second only to Hopkins’s Bloomberg as the best such school in the country).
    Is it really news that health policy is politicized?

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