Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gaffe: when a politician accidentally speaks the truth

Uninsured not the issue:

After host Chris Wallace asked McConnell what the Republican plan is to address the estimated 30 million uninsured Americans who would lose the chance to get health insurance if the Affordable Care Act was repealed, McConnell said he wasn't concerned.

"That is not the issue," he said bluntly in a video clip that seems destined for Democratic fundraising messages and left-leaning blogs. "We're not going to turn the American health care system into a Western European system. … We need to clean up the health care the federal government is already responsible for before we start immodestly trying to take over the rest of the health care system."


  1. It is hard to argue that our government finances and healthcare system in general would very likely suffer significant disruption if all citizens were to receive Medicare.

    It is reasonable to fear the ACA may try to progess toward that goal. Seniors, of course, hate the idea because Medicare is far more generous than can be afforded for all. Doctors hate it because Medicare doesn't pay very well for the kinds of medicine that keep healthy people well. It instead is specifically designed to promote use the use of invasive techniques and drugs that provide greater remuneration to the practitioners. It is naive to believe that doctors are somehow immune to the basic sirens calls of economic incentives.
    While I want a single payer system, or a ban on hospitals who receive federal funds from providing indigent care (thereby passing off those costs to me the tax payer in the most expensive possible way...emergency care), I don't want it if it run like Medicare. I'd like to see Medicare cancelled. I'd like to see Medicare funded through a flat income tax levy at whatever level is required to fund it (no deductions allowed) and I'd like to make certain that patients have enough skin in the game that they push their doctors to provide cheaper care that is good enough rather than having no opinion because none of the costs are born by them anyway.

  2. The fundamental problem with your position is that we can, in fact, afford Medicare for all; indeed, Medicare for all would cost our society half as much as we spend now.

    The second flaw is that flat income taxes are a bad idea; until everyone receives equal distribution of reward, it is unfair to tax them equally. CEOs now make 400 times what their average employees do, up from a historical 25. Unless we are to believe that the modern CEO is some kind of genetically enhanced superman, it would appear that they are being rewarded for their efforts disproportionally to their contribution. Why should they be taxed the same? Or, to put it another way, we do have a flat tax: it's 36%, and we give you break if you make less than a minimum amount.

    The third flaw is the idea that patients don't have skin in the game, or that they can in any meaningful way affect health-care costs. Currently, provider networks and insurance industry obfuscation, combined with hospitals hiding comparative data, make it impossible for consumer to make informed choices.

    You know what would empower consumers to make choices based on price and effectiveness? A system where the consumer can easily shop medical services around without worrying about how to pay for the non-deductible portion. Such as... a single-payer system like the one I have now. Or a mixed system, like .

    The fundamental problem with the health care debate is that there is no problem; the solution has already been discovered and perfected. Just not by Americans.

    Well, except for Massachusetts.