Public Plan as Inoculation Against Mandate Backlash | Gooznews

But every version of reform fails to deal with the root cause the uninsurance problem: millions of employers in our “employer-based” system do not provide their workers with health insurance. Why isn’t there more discussion about the free rider distortions in that state of affairs? 

Instead putting the mandate on employer free riders, the bills now before Congress put it on people with minimal penalties for employers who refuse to provide coverage. 

Then, on the subsidy side, the bills offer help only to the poorer of the poor (working, but not on Medicaid). They do nothing for two-earner households working at two, three or four crap jobs without insurance, who earn a modest household income of $60,000 to $100,000 a year. Subsidizing them, they’re told, would cost too much.

The greatest fear Democrats should have at this point is what will happen when millions of hard-working, lower-middle-class American families without health insurance are told they’re about to be slapped with a $500 to $1000-a-month bill to buy a plan most don’t use (most people don’t get sick). On top of that, they are going to be told that their employers and the government aren’t going to help out.

Is there any reason why these hard-working members of the lower middle class shouldn’t conclude that they are being taxed to help those even less fortunate than themselves? You don’t have to be a political genius to realize Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs will have a field day.

Public plan? Mandate? Goozner tests the sharp double-edges of these provisions.

Public Plan as Inoculation Against Mandate Backlash | Gooznews

But every version of reform fails to deal with the root cause the uninsurance problem: millions of employers in our “employer-based” system do not provide their workers with health insurance. Why isn’t there more discussion about the free rider distortions in that state of affairs? 

Instead putting the mandate on employer free riders, the bills now before Congress put it on people with minimal penalties for employers who refuse to provide coverage. 

Then, on the subsidy side, the bills offer help only to the poorer of the poor (working, but not on Medicaid). They do nothing for two-earner households working at two, three or four crap jobs without insurance, who earn a modest household income of $60,000 to $100,000 a year. Subsidizing them, they’re told, would cost too much.

The greatest fear Democrats should have at this point is what will happen when millions of hard-working, lower-middle-class American families without health insurance are told they’re about to be slapped with a $500 to $1000-a-month bill to buy a plan most don’t use (most people don’t get sick). On top of that, they are going to be told that their employers and the government aren’t going to help out.

Is there any reason why these hard-working members of the lower middle class shouldn’t conclude that they are being taxed to help those even less fortunate than themselves? You don’t have to be a political genius to realize Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Lou Dobbs will have a field day.

Public plan? Mandate? Goozner tests the sharp double-edges of these provisions.

Public health surveillance: America the backward (from Effect Measure)

Every other industrialized country has a national health care system that makes keeping track of these elementary facts possible. The US doesn’t. We have a lot of electronic medical records, all right, but they are mostly devoted to billing and insurance. And there are a lot of different proprietary software systems that can’t be easily adapted, altered or modified and can’t talk to each other. One of Obama’s initiatives to control costs is Electronic Medical Records (EMR), but the economic benefits he touts are almost certainly being oversold. It won’t save us that much money.

But what a decent system could do — and the system that we might get might be very, very far from a decent one from the provider and patient perspective — is provide the kind of surveillance information that would make assuring the safety and efficacy of vaccine programs and a myriad of other things possible.

Revere notes just one of the many drawbacks of our lack of healthcare statistical information at a national level.

Public health surveillance: America the backward (from Effect Measure)

Every other industrialized country has a national health care system that makes keeping track of these elementary facts possible. The US doesn’t. We have a lot of electronic medical records, all right, but they are mostly devoted to billing and insurance. And there are a lot of different proprietary software systems that can’t be easily adapted, altered or modified and can’t talk to each other. One of Obama’s initiatives to control costs is Electronic Medical Records (EMR), but the economic benefits he touts are almost certainly being oversold. It won’t save us that much money.

But what a decent system could do — and the system that we might get might be very, very far from a decent one from the provider and patient perspective — is provide the kind of surveillance information that would make assuring the safety and efficacy of vaccine programs and a myriad of other things possible.

Revere notes just one of the many drawbacks of our lack of healthcare statistical information at a national level.

Dust over Eastern Australia

Yet another view of last week’s dust storm.

That Strange Light you’re seeing is the future of magazines

Incredible. Dust storm hits Sydney on Wednesday. Feeling pretty quick, I blogged it that evening. But today, a guy has a magazine out about it.

Lovely magazine. $8. He put it together in about 24 hours via this new site where you can do such things. Ima order one.