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The Healthcare Election — No Comments

  1. Gerry, this diatribe is an extraordinarily superficial and specious analysis which appears to be a whole-cloth transcription of Trumpian nonsense. Obamacare premiums are high because medical costs are high and because health care insurance companies are profit-making businesses which essentially operate on a cost-plus basis. Medical costs are higher in the US than in the rest of the world because doctors, pharmaceutical and medical supply companies, and hospitals operate as capitalist entities. That’s just how it is. All of the aforementioned have, to one extent or another, promoted themselves into elitist crypto-aristocracies.

    There’s nothing the matter with success. I am a capitalist. I’ve run my own business for 40 years. I am a success, and I do not criticize or undervalue success, achievement and self-sufficiency. But the declaration that Obamacare, rather than a preoccupation with inordinate economic success by the medical supply side, is the cause of high healthcare costs is insupportable. There cannot be a cheaper medical care system, including insurance, without reductions in the profit margins of the medical supply side.

    The assertion that interstate competition among healthcare insurance companies is some sort of panacea is simply false. See http://www.naic.org/documents/topics_interstate_sales_myths.pdf , as well as: “The pros and cons of selling health insurance across state lines – AEI | Politics and Public Opinion Blog » AEIdea.”

    Albert Einstein observed that politics is much harder than physics. Once again the gentleman hit the nail on the head. Relativity is easier than the control of medical costs in a political and economic system like ours. The over-simplified and Republicanized analysis you provide is just wrong.

  2. Steve, “greed” and “profit-making” didn’t start with Obamacare. They’ve been around for a long time. The difference is that ACA has worsened a situation that has been growing in medicine since 1965 – crony capitalism. The prices in any medical field where true free market competition really exists (e.g. cosmetic surgery, refractive eye surgery) have actually come down while quality has improved.

    The current death spiral in ACA is undeniable. The premiums keep going up because the only people signing up for the plans are those who need care and when they’ve received their care, they stop paying. Currently, “health insurance” is not really insurance, but payment plan for “get-as-much-as-I-can-care”.

    I did not claim that interstate commerce would be a panacea, but only point it out as a difference between the candidates. I personally think it would have a minimal effect. Insurance is not the way to control costs – due to our current situation, moral hazard has led to ever increasing costs. Insurance is a big reason for the escalation of prices – one only has to look at the cost of prescription meds, since the increase in insurance coverage, prices have skyrocketed.

    I’m sorry if you felt my editorial was “superficial and specious”, but there is only so much one can do in 800 words. Maybe we should discuss this in person some time.

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