Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Understanding Health Care Reform In 16 Easy Steps

I've been too busy to post here since the State of the Union last week, but I've got a healthy backlog of posts forthcoming. In the meantime, I want to direct readers of this blog to an excellent run-down of the need for health care reform over on Slacktivist. (I would re-print it in its entirety here, but I'd hate to steal Slacktivist's traffic.)

In other news, Defense Secretary Robert Gates is expected to talk about the plan to repeal DADT today. That's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," the federal law prohibiting openly gay, lesbian and bisexual individuals from serving in the military. It was later changed to "Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Pursue, Don't Harass" (DADTDPDH) in an attempt to curb investigations initiated by the military without prior evidence of disallowed behaviors. My guess is that the repeal will go through, but mostly because the acronyms are just getting too unwieldy.

Stay tuned...


Lieutenant Ambiguous said...

That's not a very good article. First the straw man with the Glenn Beck t-shirt is a little condescending.

But the substance of it seems to be that the current system is not working, so we must support whatever monstrosity happens to call itself "reform," because the mere word 'reform' transubstantiates whatever it is affixed to into purewholesomegoodness, even if it is just a turd on a stick being shoved down your throat by an armed intruder at night.

So while this guy rails against some drooling Glenn Beck tshirt-wearing neanderthal who simply rejects "reform" because he is stupid and easily manipulated, out here in the real world, real people rejected this so-called reform because it did not solve any of the underlying problems, and in fact made many of them worse.

Also, he never explains why rising premiums are a bad thing. He merely accepts it as a given that we should all agree with that sentiment. Well, as any economist will tell you, if you want to reduce the consumption of a scarce resource, the price must go up. This guy seems to think that people will not change their behavior as a response to rising prices. Yet somehow people do that all the time, seem most dramatically in the recent past when gas prices hit record highs. Rising premiums will mean more people looking at high-deductible plans and using health insurance for its actual and intended purpose: to protect against high-cost rare events, instead of nursing new strains of MRSA by getting antibiotics for every little sniffle. When people pay more of their own money for routine health care, they will use it less wastefully than if a third party is paying.

Are reforms needed? Sure, but not what is being proposed.

Lorenzo said...

I find American healthcare debates bizarre on all sides, though I cannot quite shake the suspicion that a political system which produced the current abortion most likely move would be to make it worse.

On DADT, citizencrain is doing some excellent blogging. On such national security issues, I tend to find the "if it is good enough for the Israeli's" point powerful against "national security will be HARMED!" arguments (if it is good enough for the Israelis to have gay soldiers ..., if it is good enough for the Israelis not to torture ..., and so on). But the whole notion that somehow queerness and soldiering are antipathetic is too historically illiterate for words.