Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Voucherized Medicare is Not Free Market Healthcare

Paul Krugman, again, gets (at least partly) Republican gimmicks  This time he recognizes the Romney-Ryan medical shell game:
So there it is: the draft Republican platform says of Medicare and Medicaid,
The first step is to move the two programs away from their current unsustainable defined-benefit entitlement model to a fiscally sound defined-contribution model.
That means that instead of Medicare as we know it, which pays your medical bills, you’d get a lump sum which you can apply to private insurance — they’ll yell when we call it a voucher, but that’s what it is.

No doubt I and others will have much more to say about this, but let’s just ask the question: why is this “fiscally sound”?

Bear in mind that health expenses will still have to be mainly paid for by some kind of insurance; that’s in the nature of medical care, with its high but unpredictable cost. So what we’re doing here is replacing government insurance with a program that gives people money to buy private insurance — that is, adding an extra layer of middlemen. Why would this save money?
Krugman goes on to discuss things in terms of why we need government  medical care/insurance, which we don't, but he does get that the Republican plan is not a free market plan, but instead simply adds even another layer of government bureaucracy that will further monitor insurance companies that will result in more points of central power that can be corrupted by big pharma and big insurance.

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