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Location: San Diego, California, United States

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A WSJ editorial on the problem with single payer universal health coverage

A Wisconsin experiment points to the problems facing nationwide single payer health insurance. Read about it here.



Blogger Curt said...

Just to round out this article, I think it would be interesting to see figures on things like: the percentage of workers with employer sponsored health insurance, the average cost of those plans, the average of extra health insurance premiums paid by employees to cover entire families, etc. It would make it clearer just how the costs would be shifting.

10:40 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

I agree that your study could be useful, if it could be done without bias.

I like to think about a comparison that I have pointed out before that makes the analysis much simpler in my mind:

"What if the government offered everybody free food?" Think through the ramifications of this and I think you will see the effects of single payer universal health coverage.

David Broder had an interesting column today on Bush's threatened veto of the Democratic sponsored expansion of State Children's Health Insurance Program. I have looked into this and my perception is that it is simply a backdoor method of achieving universal coverage without approval of the electorate. "Children" are used as the reason - shades of the Clinton era - but most of the expansion for the last few years and in the future will be to cover adults. Why can't parents be responsible of their childrens healthcare, with help from private sources if necessary?

11:19 AM  
Blogger Curt said...

On your hypothetical: "What if the government offered everybody free food?"

Well, some would argue that we're halfway there already with the big farm subsidies which appear to cause a variety of effects:
- overproduction of corn, leading to a glut of 'high fructose corn syrup' which gets used in an incredible number of food products
- perhaps helping to cause the obesity problems in the U.S.
- lowered prices in world markets, a major cause of the stalling of world trade talks

There are probably some good effects as well, and I certainly don't think the U.S. should outsource all its food production to the low cost growers, but overall these subsidies seem to cause more problems than they solve (not to mention the use of them as political handouts).

6:16 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I am not talking about subsidies!

I am proposing "Single Payer Universal Groceries" - the government pays the retail suppliers just as you would like to have them pay the retail suppliers of healthcare. It is fun to think this through.

One impact I can think of immidiately: demand for Spam would drop precipitously and demand for filet mignon would skyrocket. Agreed.

This is an example of the type of disconnects Single Payer Universal Healthcare causes where it exists and will cause here if we allow it to be implemented.

In England they wait for surgery, just as you would have to wait for filet mignon after a few days in my proposed Single Payer Universal Grocery system. Comments?

10:31 AM  

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