At Forbes, Avik Roy writes:
Last week, I noted the strange fact that President Obama—and his top advisers—decry the Romney-Ryan plan for Medicare reform, because it incorporates the concept of “premium support,” while applying the same principles to 25 million low-income Americans under Obamacare. Thus far, the Obama campaign has been unable to account for this inconsistency. Well, on Monday, we learned that a top Obama health-care adviser in 2010 actually proposed going around Congress to voucherize Medicare, in his words. It’s time for President Obama to own up. Either the Romney-Ryan plan is sound, or Obama’s campaign is being dishonest.
Read more: Top Obama Advisers Proposed Voucherizing Medicare Way Back in…2010? – Forbes.
Via Grace-Marie Turner.
If government is going to force taxpayers to finance medical care for low-income people, replacing Medicaid with the equivalent of food stamps would be a large improvement. John Goodman explains:
When we expand a public insurance plan for low-income patients, we are spending billions of dollars in a way that doesn’t increase their access to care. At the same time, we forbid the enrollees to do the one thing that would expand access to care.
Contrast this foolishness with the Food Stamp program. Low-income shoppers can enter any supermarket in America and buy almost anything the market has to offer by adding cash to the “voucher” the government gives them. They can buy everything you and I can buy because they pay the same price you and I pay. But we absolutely forbid them to do the same thing in the medical marketplace.
This is why Tom Saving and I recently proposed to get Medicaid and CHIP out of the business of dictating prices and replace that activity with a health stamp program, fashioned after the food stamp (SNAP) program. Enrollees would get stamps, depending on their health condition, and they would be free to add their own money and pay any price for any service the medical marketplace has to offer. In this way, low-income families on Medicaid would be empowered patients who could compete for health care resources on a level playing field with other patients, at least for small dollar health purchases, which would include almost all primary care.
Read the while post: Why Can’t We Buy Health Care the Way We Buy Food?
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, economist John Cochrane suggests free-market health care reforms that Congress should enact if the Supreme Court strikes down ObamaCare (HR 3590). Some excerpts:
The country can have a vibrant market for individual health insurance. … The policy should include a right to purchase insurance in the future, no matter if you get sick. And insurance should follow you from job to job, and if you move across state lines.
Why don’t we have such markets? Because the government has regulated them out of existence.
Most pathologies in the current system are creatures of previous laws and regulations.
- The unfair tax treatment of insurance.
- Costly mandated benefits
- Premium support for Medicaid & Medicare
- Over-use of medical services because tax code has turned insurance into pre-paid medical care
- How the AMA limits number of practicing doctors
- How state controls limit number of hospitals
State Senator Greg Brophy introduces Colorado Senate Bill 12-032:
For some of the merits of this bill, see my previous post on SB 12-032 and about Medicaid block grants in general.
The latest news is that the bill is postponed indefinitely.
Michael Cannon at Cato writes:
The annual unveiling of its “Lie of the Year” award garners PolitiFact more attention than anything else. Hopefully, it will garner so much attention that people will recognize this award, which is supposed to improve political discourse, instead degrades it. …
PolitiFact’s past three Lies of the Year have been about health care. Not one of them was a lie. …
The third and latest Lie of the Year—that “Republicans voted to end Medicare”—is arguably true: its veracity depends on what your definition of “Medicare” is. … My leftist friends are right and PolitiFact is wrong: from a certain and valid perspective, this claim is true.
Moreover, even if these three statements were false, the speakers believed them to be true. Therefore, they cannot be lies. Every single Lie of the Year award has gotten that basic fact wrong.
[T]his award degrades political discourse by implicitly launching—an encouraging others to launch—ad hominem assaults on people who hold legitimate differences of opinion. PolitiFact should find a better way to attract readers.
Read the whole post: Strike Three for PolitiFact | Cato @ Liberty.
John Goodman provides many examples of his excellent observation:
The left’s entire approach to poverty is to segregate the poor into inferior public provision, while the rest of society enjoys the benefits of quasi-private provision. It’s as though the left wing in American politics wants socialism for the poor and capitalism for everyone else.
Read the whole post: Keeping Poor People Poor | John Goodman’s Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org.