Monday, June 13, 2005

Time for "Medicare for All"?

Paul Krugman comes out in favor of "single payer" or as Ted Kennedy put it - "Medicare for all" where the government provides universal health insurance for everyone. How is this affordable? Medicare has much lower administrative costs than private insurance. The reason is that single-payer systems don't devote large resources to screening out high-risk clients or charging them higher fees. The savings from a single-payer system would probably exceed $200 billion a year, far more than the cost of covering all of those now uninsured.

We need to do this one right. If reform fails again, we'll be on the way to a radically unequal society, in which all but the most affluent Americans face the constant risk of financial ruin and even premature death because they can't pay their medical bills.

We'll be on the way?? Heck, I thought we were there already! Who's gonna be the brave one to face up to the insurance lobbies though? That's the real crux of this matter. Check out Krugman's column for the whole story. I know from my own perspective that 20% yearly increases in my premiums are rapidly making health insurance unaffordable for myself, so this is an issue that hits close to home. Don't know if it really helps to write one's congressman/woman, but if there was ever a time, this is it.

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What You'll Wish You'd Known

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