Fair. Balanced. American.

Friday, January 22, 2010


Quoted in full, with apologies:
As things fall apart on the health care front, one thing you keep hearing is the idea of doing reform in pieces — start with something popular, like banning discrimination on the basis of medical history, then do the hard stuff later.

I have another proposal: let’s save money by making stools and chairs with only one leg.

As I’ve written before, the pieces of reform are interdependent. You can’t do one or two pieces on their own. Ban discrimination based on medical history, and you get an adverse-selection death spiral, in which healthy people opt out and premiums soar. You can’t solve that without both requiring that healthy people buy insurance and helping those with lower incomes afford the premiums. In short, you basically end up with the Senate bill.


omen said...

krugman admitted in his newsweek profile that he wasn't a "detail man." well, we all know where the devil lives.

i think it was trudy krugman who pointed out there are already existing rules barring discrimination for preexisting condition. problem is that it isn't enforced. isn't crafting a new law on top of an old one barring the same thing equivalant to saying "we really mean it this time!"? new laws are worthless with an enforcement regime.

candidate obama offered a proposal to counter the problem of healthy people gaming the system. it's interesting to me the federal flood protection program (passed with the help of trent lott, of all people) protects property homeowners even after the fact. they can apply for coverage after their properties suffered damage, even if they were unprotected before.


omen said...

oops, trudy lieberman over at the cjr desk:


omen said...


new laws are worthless withOUT an enforcement regime.

Sini said...

And another thing Trudy Lieberman points out that is absolutely true: people will hate the mandate. It won't kick in till after 2012, but once it's there, the health care plan will definitely become less popular. On the other hand, because it can't be repealed without 60 votes, it also means that the subsidy will increase considerably over time.

Sini said...

As one who has been uninsured in the past, I'd be all for being able to buy in whenever I needed health insurance. That's a fantastic piece on flood insurance, btw. Just fantastic.