A couple of excellent posts from Ezra Klein, today, about health care reform.

In one, he addresses the same numbskullery I addressed a while back in reaction to something MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said.  Klein is reacting to the fact that RNC Chairman Michael Steele has no idea who provides his health insurance:

Steele didn’t shop around for health-care insurance. The RNC didn’t give him a choice of plans. Cigna appears to be their exclusive provider. Michael Steele talks a good game about choice and consumers and the importance of private markets. But the status quo doesn’t give him, or the rest of us, access to any of that.

In the other, he points out that, in the ongoing health care reform debate, we’ve lost sight of what our health care system looks like right now.  People are criticizing the various reform proposals because this one doesn’t quite cover everyone, or that one doesn’t provide quite enough choice, or the other one won’t be cheap enough, or Senator Whosee’s plan won’t ease costs for small businesses.

To reset our perspective, let’s do a quick multiple choice quiz.  Select one of the following for each question below:

a) the Senate Finance Committee Plan

b) the Senate Health Committee Plan

c) the Wyden-Bennett Plan

d) the House of Representatives’ Plan

e) the current system

Got it?  Okay.  Here are the questions.  (Please phrase your answers in the form of an answer.)

1. Which plan is the most expensive?

2. Which plan covers the fewest people?

3. Which plan offers consumers the fewest insurance choices?

4. Which plan imposes the greatest burden on small businesses?

5. Which plan requires the largest tax to pay for it?

6. Which plan increases the federal deficit the most?

7. Which plan provides the least free-market competition?

Pencils down, please.  The answer to all 7 questions is e — our current system.

That’s right.  Of all our options, what we have now is by far the worst on every score.

Useful reminder, that.



3 Responses to “Exactly”

  1. jazzbumpa Says:

    I’m impressed that 6 and 7 are the current system. I want to be able to beat up randomly encountered conservatives with this. I’m too tired to digest it all now. I hope the link through to Perlstein provides the necessary background data for all 7 points.


    P.S. Steele embarrasses me, and I’m not even a Republican.

  2. jazzbumpa Says:

    OK. I read the Perlstein article, and it’s just a naked assertion. It’s believable, fer sure, but where’s the evidence?

  3. urbino Says:

    I’ve seen the data for 6 elsewhere. It’s based on the rate of health care inflation and federal obligations under Medicare.

    Number 7 is based on the fact that in most places only 1 or at most 2 insurance companies have monopoly (or duopoly) control of the market.

    I’ll see if I can re-locate the data for you.

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