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POLITICS: President Obama’s Health care head fake

So unlike Paul Krugman who’s just being critical of Obama’s lack of a mandate, over at Spot-on I think I see the political brilliance behind it–or am I just deluding myself? Come back here to comment of course:

It’s a perplexing time to be a liberal. A Martian arriving on earth,
having seen the Republicans pandering hard to their base in the
primaries would assume the Democratic base would be rallying behind the
candidate who held the correct positions in 2004, and be apologizing
for ignoring him last time.

SNIP

Getting to voluntary universal coverage by trying to lower encourage
lower costs and hoping everyone will join in will not work, and even
Obama’s main health care adviser admits it.
But this irrationality has got me thinking. Why is Obama trying to promote something he knows won’t work?

Read the rest at Spot-On

Meanwhile, there’s an almost companion piece also at Spot-on from Deborah Klosky. Interestingly, both pieces focus on misinterpretations of how our society
actually functions – Deb notes that assuming women will care for the old and
sick is as out-dated as assuming they’re able to stay home and care for their
children. Some are but many – most are not. She writes:

It’s the same problem as with caring for a child; our current
system relies on a mythical, anachronistic view – there’s a big happy family
living all together, with mom in the kitchen running the home front all
day.

Kind of like Obama – a little wishful thinking might go a long way. Read Deb’s piece also at Spot-on

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6 replies »

  1. Actually Neiman I think I was making a greater comment on Baby Boomer parenting skills than I was GenX attitudes. As for the Boomer elder care issue I was indirectly trying to say that what they reap (their kids attitiudes) they might inherit, kinda like Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s Cradle”. Anyway, gota go, have a good weekend.

  2. Don’t be bashful, Neimon. Tell us what you really think of those greedy boomers.
    You aren’t by any chance still living at home, are you?
    Actually, there is a coverage strategy which does not rely on mandates. You could generate cash for health insurance subsidies for the lower income uninsured by reducing the huge subsidies for health providers- tax exemption, “indirect medical education”, disproportionate share, etc. It’s likely at least $100 billion if you add all those up,and they are there to compensate providers in one way or another for the uninsured. Why not do what Massachusetts tried to do and give them to the uninsured directly.
    You could also generate a huge amount of cash by capping at a relatively low income level (e.g. $100 thousand a year) the tax deductibility of individual health insurance benefits. Plus, if you pre-empted all the state regulations that require insurers to cover things like in vitro fertilization, chiropractic care, podiatry, etc., you could lower the cost of coverage to the point where boomer parents could afford to cover their slacker children still living at home for $50 0r $60 a month.
    There are a lot of ways besides mandates (which may not work) to get the job done.

  3. “I wonder how baby boomers see their elder care being taken of by their “GenXer” kids who think the world is all about them and have had everything so don’t appreciate anything. Acually I think a better term for them is “Generation Rx”.”
    I dunno. How do gen-xers think they’ll pay for the locust generation that consumed and ruined everything ahead of them? Who took all the good jobs, speculated in markets that destroyed real investment in real infrastructure like, say, hospitals and bridges and roads, for air-head gains in a tech-sector that never existed and destroyed the concept of corporate loyalty? Who drove down the wages of everyone after them? Who think the generation behind them is a bunch of slackers and nobodies when, in fact, they’ve been there to save boomers’ asses when they couldn’t figure out how to format a floppy?
    That kind of generalization is mean, insulting, and counterproductive. Kinda. You know. Selfish. Ironic? Maybe.

  4. Health “insurance” is really a misnomer, as what is out there today is more a combination of comprehensive insurance coupled with prepaid routine maintenance. If one moved back to traditional insurance at realistic annual deductibles, then the cost of mandatory coverage would be affordable. It’s the prepaid maintenance that drives up the cost.
    In addition, when consumers realized that they would incur the higher out of pocket costs by failing to take care of themselves, then they would have reason to engage in healthier behaviors.

  5. Health “insurance” is really a misnomer, as what is out there today is more a combination of comprehensive insurance coupled with prepaid routine maintenance. If one moved back to traditional insurance at realistic annual deductibles, then the cost of mandatory coverage would be affordable. It’s the prepaid maintenance that drives up the cost.
    In addition, when consumers realized that they would incur the higher out of pocket costs by failing to take care of themselves, then they would have reason to engage in healthier behaviors.

  6. As with taxes or car insurance we all know mandates work for the benefit of all. Well, maybe not taxes so much when the wealthy can get their fair share made not so fair through political friends in high places. On second thought maybe not car insurance either as we all pay an uninsured driver premium. However I still say we cannot mandate people into a broke and expensive system, but we also can’t bring enough money into the system without a mandate; “That’s another nice mess you got me into Oly”. As for the mandate reducing premiums, I think the MA plan disproved that in this “market system”. Rates started out at $200-$300 per month then went to $800 per month, I wonder when their next increase will come.
    In reference to Deborah’s piece we are getting further and further away from the “Leave it to Beaver” era, although I never actually met a family like that. I wonder how baby boomers see their elder care being taken of by their “GenXer” kids who think the world is all about them and have had everything so don’t appreciate anything. Acually I think a better term for them is “Generation Rx”.

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