October 25, 2012

Paleo-progressivism, neo-progressivism and national health care costs

A guest blogger at Naked Capitalism says that Obama’s neoliberal-based concerns about even higher deficit possibilities, or bigger taxes, led him to never seriously consider a true “Medicare for All,” do a head fake with another version of the “public option,” and finally push for something largely written by the health insurance industry.

I agree.

But, that’s a partial picture at best.

Neither Obamacare, nor the “public option,” nor a true “Medicare for All,” as best as I can determine, have adequate cost controls compared to other developed nations.

The failure to stipulate that such cost controls need to be part of national health care is, let's call it ...


I don't want "Medicare for All" if we're still spending 50 percent more per capita than other developed nations, or more, for health care.


There are times where legitimate financial constraints on medical insurance under any name need to be considered.

And, if doing so gets a label of “neo-progressivism,” I’ll wear it.

I’ve hammered on this issue since 2009.

And will continue to do so.

Medical education costs much more than elsewhere in the developed world. States are restraining college and graduate education costs less and less.

State insurance regulation departments are paper tigers. Obamacare proposes no such federal department, nor would “Medicare for all” proponents who don’t accept the reality that even in other countries with national health care, it doesn’t cover everything and private insurance still has some working space.

Meanwhile, with the current “Medicare for seniors,” Congress routinely proposes new restrictions on doctor payments only to waiver them within a year; what would make Medicare for All different?

And, the American culture is attuned to believing the lie of Sarah Palin’s death panels. Even worse, for a country allegedly so highly Christian, as compared to other developed nations, the US has a fear of death that is, itself … morbid!

Add that up, and the increasingly expensive “end of life care” that thoughtful people know we can afford less and less, yet still pay for more and more, is becoming a lead anchor.

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