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Doc Fluty
09-16-2008, 03:39 AM
John McCain's health plan won't lower the ranks of the uninsured. Barack Obama's fails to curb the soaring cost of health care, meaning initial gains in helping more people buy health insurance would eventually be undermined.
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That's the assessment of health care economists who critiqued the plans of the two presidential candidates.

The critiques, published in the journal Health Affairs on Tuesday, reflect fundamental disagreements over how to improve access to health coverage. They also sound warnings about what could go wrong with each candidate's plan.

McCain would dramatically reshape the way millions of people get health insurance. The Republican would do away with income tax breaks for health insurance obtained through the work place, instead treating the payments as taxable wages.

In exchange, he would give people a $2,500 tax credit for individuals who buy health insurance and a $5,000 tax credit for families that do so.

The tax credit could help people buy insurance through their employer. Many would also use it buy coverage directly from insurers in the individual market. They could select from insurers licensed in any state. With more competition, costs would fall and quality would increase, McCain reasons.

Analysts writing in the journal warned against that approach.

They said employers would be less likely to offer coverage if they knew their workers could get it elsewhere. In all, the authors projected that 20 million people would lose their employer-sponsored insurance under McCain's plan, while 21 million people would gain coverage through the individual market — little more than a wash.

And as monthly insurance premiums rise and the tax break stays the same, even that gain would erode.

Another concern is that insurers would gravitate to states with less onerous coverage requirements. For example, 29 states insist insurers in the individual and small group market cover cervical cancer screenings. They could locate in states without such requirements.

Obama wants the government to subsidize the cost of health coverage for millions who otherwise would have trouble affording it on their own.

The Democrat would set up a kind of government-run shopping mall that would negotiate prices and benefits with private insurers. One choice would be a government-run plan. No participating company could turn someone away because of pre-existing cancer, heart disease or diabetes. Nor would someone have to pay a higher monthly premium based on those conditions.

The government would subsidize the cost for many who buy coverage through this exchange. But analysts say using third parties to subsidize the cost of a product exacerbates health inflation. Consumers and providers act as if any service that might yield some value should be covered. After all, it's largely somebody else who is picking up the tab.

"Any major expansion of coverage will be costly, and the Obama promise of affordability would require new, large, and rapidly growing federal subsidies that are unlikely to be sustainable, fiscally or politically," said the authors.

Obama would also require all but small businesses to make a "meaningful" payment for health coverage of their workers or contribute a percentage of payroll toward the cost of the public plan offered through the exchange. The authors said that either way, job losses or pay cuts would result.

The journal subjected the plans to a sort of devil's advocate analysis. Once the unsolicitated review of McCain's plan was reviewed and accepted, the journal sought out economists who would take a similarly tough look at the Obama plan. The reviewers of the Obama plan included Gail Wilensky, an unpaid adviser to the McCain campaign.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080916/ap_on_go_pr_wh/candidates_health_plans

WES445
09-16-2008, 07:09 AM
I have serious doubts about them pulling this one off in this economy. Who every get in will renege on this or give us a butchered form of what they promise.

ari1013
09-16-2008, 07:29 AM
So I was reading this, and I came across this paragraph here:


Obama would also require all but small businesses to make a "meaningful" payment for health coverage of their workers or contribute a percentage of payroll toward the cost of the public plan offered through the exchange. The authors said that either way, job losses or pay cuts would result.

And I thought to myself, I've never heard Obama say that before. So before I finished reading the article, I went on google to search for reports on that. Here's what I found:


Employer Contribution: Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan. Small businesses will be exempt from this requirement, and will receive a new Small Business Health Tax Credit that helps reduce health care costs for small businesses.

OK so essentially this goes back to the idea of removing the cap on payroll taxes. So what the article is saying is kind of true but clearly the truth got stretched a bit to imply job losses. Now to get to the rest of the article.


The reviewers of the Obama plan included Gail Wilensky, an unpaid adviser to the McCain campaign.

And the answer becomes clear.

SmthBluCitrus
09-16-2008, 10:35 AM
Good digging ari.

hoosiercubsfan
09-16-2008, 11:15 AM
Good digging ari.


Quote:
The reviewers of the Obama plan included Gail Wilensky, an unpaid adviser to the McCain campaign.

And the answer becomes clear.

Instead of attacking the message you attack the messenger. I find this happens more often than not when the message isn't a happy one. And it did not say that she was the only one just that she was part of it. I am sure they did that just to make sure they aren't attacked for not including that bit of info. Does that one person being part of it make it any less true that neither plan is really feasible? And we need to know what Obama is going to classify as a small business. Also another question is where is he going to get the money for this so called Small Business Health Tax Credit. Politicians promise the world to get elected and provide but a spec of sand more often than not.

ari1013
09-16-2008, 01:58 PM
Instead of attacking the message you attack the messenger. I find this happens more often than not when the message isn't a happy one. And it did not say that she was the only one just that she was part of it. I am sure they did that just to make sure they aren't attacked for not including that bit of info. Does that one person being part of it make it any less true that neither plan is really feasible? And we need to know what Obama is going to classify as a small business. Also another question is where is he going to get the money for this so called Small Business Health Tax Credit. Politicians promise the world to get elected and provide but a spec of sand more often than not.
It's not really a message here though. They're just basically taking something that we already know is happening and then make it seem like there's something ON TOP of that. Look at the specific wording they chose to use to describe it.

I find it odd that the paper identified her and no other economic analysts that were involved in the study. Nor does it even mention the journal that this was written in.

The one thing that really struck me was this sentence: "Once the unsolicitated review of McCain's plan was reviewed and accepted, the journal sought out economists who would take a similarly tough look at the Obama plan."

They're essentially admitting that they didn't want a fair take on Obama's plan. Also, what does unsolicitated mean? Was that a typo for unsolicited? If the latter is true, then essentially they're saying they didn't have to go search around for a view on McCain's plan, but they did for Obama.

gcoll
09-16-2008, 02:30 PM
I find it odd that the paper identified her and no other economic analysts that were involved in the study.
That may be in the interest of being forthright.

So it's not a "dirty little secret". Make it known that a contributor to that piece is involved with Mccain.

That's all I can think of.


They're essentially admitting that they didn't want a fair take on Obama's plan
Seems like they didn't want a "fair" take on either plan.

"The journal subjected the plans to a sort of devil's advocate analysis"

See?

The troubling part is the other sentence:

"Once the unsolicitated review of McCain's plan was reviewed and accepted, the journal sought out economists who would take a similarly tough look at the Obama plan."

ari1013
09-16-2008, 08:37 PM
That may be in the interest of being forthright.

So it's not a "dirty little secret". Make it known that a contributor to that piece is involved with Mccain.

That's all I can think of.


Seems like they didn't want a "fair" take on either plan.

"The journal subjected the plans to a sort of devil's advocate analysis"

See?

The troubling part is the other sentence:

"Once the unsolicitated review of McCain's plan was reviewed and accepted, the journal sought out economists who would take a similarly tough look at the Obama plan."
In economics everyone is very upfront about whom they work with, cite, etc. It's just an understood thing. That's why I'm having so much trouble wrapping my head around this one.

Drucifer
09-16-2008, 09:33 PM
All I can tell ya as senior citizen, with a mother who's even an older senior citizen, the medical system here in one of wealthiest nations on the planet is one f'ing screwed up expensive mess.

It gets worst and worst every year. I really can't imagine what it will be like for you youngster when you reach my age if the system isn't completely overhaul.

hoosiercubsfan
09-16-2008, 10:16 PM
All I can tell ya as senior citizen, with a mother who's even an older senior citizen, the medical system here in one of wealthiest nations on the planet is one f'ing screwed up expensive mess.

It gets worst and worst every year. I really can't imagine what it will be like for you youngster when you reach my age if the system isn't completely overhaul.

Imagine what it will be like if they ever put in Nationalized health care. Look how well they run the education system I am sure they will do a bang up job with it also. Trust me the Government can't do what they already have control over well let alone give them something else to screw up.

ari1013
09-16-2008, 10:55 PM
Imagine what it will be like if they ever put in Nationalized health care. Look how well they run the education system I am sure they will do a bang up job with it also. Trust me the Government can't do what they already have control over well let alone give them something else to screw up.
Guess you don't see much good coming for our financial industry then either ;)

hoosiercubsfan
09-16-2008, 11:26 PM
Guess you don't see much good coming for our financial industry then either ;)

Not at all with all the junk mortgages that where being handed out. Helping our housing market bust. When foreclosures are rampant whoever is left holding the bag takes the hit. And we have now seen who was left holding the bag. Though I sure don't think it is time to see stock brokers jumping out of windows though. Maybe just a few CEO's would be just fine. :)

ari1013
09-17-2008, 09:45 AM
Not at all with all the junk mortgages that where being handed out. Helping our housing market bust. When foreclosures are rampant whoever is left holding the bag takes the hit. And we have now seen who was left holding the bag. Though I sure don't think it is time to see stock brokers jumping out of windows though. Maybe just a few CEO's would be just fine. :)
Not going to happen if we (the taxpayers) keep handing out $85 billion "forgivable loans" in exchange for government takeovers.

SmthBluCitrus
10-06-2008, 02:19 PM
Op-Ed from Paul Krugman (NYT) on the McCain health care plan.


Health Care Destruction
by Paul Krugman

Sarah Palin ended her debate performance last Thursday with a slightly garbled quote from Ronald Reagan about how, if we aren’t vigilant, we’ll end up “telling our children and our children’s children” about the days when America was free. It was a revealing choice.

You see, when Reagan said this he wasn’t warning about Soviet aggression. He was warning against legislation that would guarantee health care for older Americans — the program now known as Medicare.

Conservative Republicans still hate Medicare, and would kill it if they could — in fact, they tried to gut it during the Clinton years (that’s what the 1995 shutdown of the government was all about). But so far they haven’t been able to pull that off.

So John McCain wants to destroy the health insurance of nonelderly Americans instead.

Most Americans under 65 currently get health insurance through their employers. That’s largely because the tax code favors such insurance: your employer’s contribution to insurance premiums isn’t considered taxable income, as long as the employer’s health plan follows certain rules. In particular, the same plan has to be available to all employees, regardless of the size of their paycheck or the state of their health.

This system does a fairly effective job of protecting those it reaches, but it leaves many Americans out in the cold. Workers whose employers don’t offer coverage are forced to seek individual health insurance, often in vain. For one thing, insurance companies offering “nongroup” coverage generally refuse to cover anyone with a pre-existing medical condition. And individual insurance is very expensive, because insurers spend large sums weeding out “high-risk” applicants — that is, anyone who seems likely to actually need the insurance.

So what should be done? Barack Obama offers incremental reform: regulation of insurers to prevent discrimination against the less healthy, subsidies to help lower-income families buy insurance, and public insurance plans that compete with the private sector. His plan falls short of universal coverage, but it would sharply reduce the number of uninsured.

Mr. McCain, on the other hand, wants to blow up the current system, by eliminating the tax break for employer-provided insurance. And he doesn’t offer a workable alternative.

Without the tax break, many employers would drop their current health plans. Several recent nonpartisan studies estimate that under the McCain plan around 20 million Americans currently covered by their employers would lose their health insurance.

As compensation, the McCain plan would give people a tax credit — $2,500 for an individual, $5,000 for a family — that could be used to buy health insurance in the individual market. At the same time, Mr. McCain would deregulate insurance, leaving insurance companies free to deny coverage to those with health problems — and his proposal for a “high-risk pool” for hard cases would provide little help.

So what would happen?

The good news, such as it is, is that more people would buy individual insurance. Indeed, the total number of uninsured Americans might decline marginally under the McCain plan — although many more Americans would be without insurance than under the Obama plan.

But the people gaining insurance would be those who need it least: relatively healthy Americans with high incomes. Why? Because insurance companies want to cover only healthy people, and even among the healthy only those able to pay a lot in addition to their tax credit would be able to afford coverage (remember, it’s a $5,000 credit, but the average family policy actually costs more than $12,000).

Meanwhile, the people losing insurance would be those who need it most: lower-income workers who wouldn’t be able to afford individual insurance even with the tax credit, and Americans with health problems whom insurance companies won’t cover.

And in the process of comforting the comfortable while afflicting the afflicted, the McCain plan would also lead to a huge, expensive increase in bureaucracy: insurers selling individual health plans spend 29 percent of the premiums they receive on administration, largely because they employ so many people to screen applicants. This compares with costs of 12 percent for group plans and just 3 percent for Medicare.

In short, the McCain plan makes no sense at all, unless you have faith that the magic of the marketplace can solve all problems. And Mr. McCain does: a much-quoted article published under his name declares that “Opening up the health insurance market to more vigorous nationwide competition, as we have done over the last decade in banking, would provide more choices of innovative products less burdened by the worst excesses of state-based regulation.”

I agree: the McCain plan would do for health care what deregulation has done for banking. And I’m terrified.

New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/06/opinion/06krugman.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin)

gcoll
10-06-2008, 02:23 PM
Yeah. not a big fan of the Mccain health care plan.

Not a big fan of Obama's either.

But with Mccain in office, and a Democratic congress....Mccain's won't pass.

Mccain will have to fight to get what he wants done.

Obama.....could run buckshot over everything. That's dangerous.

SmthBluCitrus
10-06-2008, 02:28 PM
Oh, I'm absolutely in favor of checks and balances. I read an article the other day that said that the economy performs best with a Democrat in the executive branch and a Republican congress. Or ... at least Wall Street performs better under that model (I don't remember which).

As a Democrat, I'm excited about the possibility of having both the Executive and Legislative branch controlled by Dems ... to reverse some of the stuff we saw from 2001 - 2006. But, that's being selfish.

However, I don't think that Obama will be able to run roughshod over things and get legislation passed willy-nilly. The Democrats aren't as united as people might think. You have your uber-liberals like Harry Reid ... but then you have your more centered officials like Jim Webb. I predict a lot of in-fighting amongst the Democratic majority.

It's a whole lot easier to ***** and complain about a problem then it is to actually work to correct the issue. Especially in legislature when you're trying to get (at least) 50% of the other people to agree with you ... regardless of party lines. Ya know?