Health care is possible in U.S.

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Paul Krugman discusses health care today in the Times:

A few weeks ago there was a furor when the budget office “scored” two incomplete Senate health reform proposals — that is, estimated their costs and likely impacts over the next 10 years. One proposal came in more expensive than expected; the other didn’t cover enough people. Health reform, it seemed, was in trouble.

But last week the budget office scored the full proposed legislation from the Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP). And the news — which got far less play in the media than the downbeat earlier analysis — was very, very good. Yes, we can reform health care.

Let me start by pointing out something serious health economists have known all along: on general principles, universal health insurance should be eminently affordable.

First, the uninsured are disproportionately young adults, whose medical costs tend to be relatively low. The big spending is mainly on the elderly, who are already covered by Medicare.

Second, even now the uninsured receive a considerable (though inadequate) amount of “uncompensated” care, whose costs are passed on to the rest of the population. So the net cost of giving the uninsured explicit coverage is substantially less than it might seem.

In Madison the Cap Times’ Dave Zwiefel discusses a blooper over at the National Review, where conservative commentator Mark Hemmingway stirred up the right wing blogosphere with a story about Barack Obama’s doctor not supporting his health care plan. Not even Marx’s doctor! Of course it wouldn’t be that simple. Hemmingway was unwittingly allowing his blog to serve as a platform for single-payer health care, which is what Obama’s doc was advocating.

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One Response to “Health care is possible in U.S.”

  1. Health care -- how do we move forward Says:

    Follow the healthcare debate at http://www.ilovebenefits.wordpress.com

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