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More on Health Care

Paul Krugman has a fascinating column in the NYT’s today.  Here is a sample and read the entire article here.

"Reform, if it happens, will rest on four main pillars: regulation, mandates, subsidies and competition.

By regulation I mean the nationwide imposition of rules that would prevent insurance companies from denying coverage based on your medical history, or dropping your coverage when you get sick. This would stop insurers from gaming the system by covering only healthy people.

On the other side, individuals would also be prevented from gaming the system: Americans would be required to buy insurance even if they’re currently healthy, rather than signing up only when they need care. And all but the smallest businesses would be required either to provide their employees with insurance, or to pay fees that help cover the cost of subsidies — subsidies that would make insurance affordable for lower-income American families."

The whole point of this is creating a large pool of people to spread the risk.  I had dinner with my Australian friend on Friday night, and he loves his country’s health care system.  He has basic care provided by the government, and because he’s successful he chooses to buy an additional, private policy.  That costs him — wait for it — $108 dollars a month.  And I’m afraid that might be Australian which would make it even cheaper in U.S. currency.

Some of my concern is driven by pure selfishness — I want affordable health insurance.  Some of it is broader self-interest.  I’m an unabashed capitalist, and this looming health care crises is going to wreck our economy.  The President is right — inaction is not an alternative.

 

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