September 20, 2008

Subprime Cancer

Thanks Paul Krugman for pointing out to me reason 152 why if I care about cancer I cannot vote for John McCain. But before I launch into Johnny, first a little lesson.

Do you know what “market-based health reform” is? Here it is in a nutshell:

1. Ditching insurance company regulations so they can vie for, or exclude us from, their business with little to no government oversight. For example, they could continue to exclude for pre-existing conditions, or for any other reason they wish.

2. Transferring health insurance from employer based insurance to individuals purchasing health insurance on their own. Mind you, without regulations, companies could charge whatever they damn well please for this insurance and exclude you for any reason. Under this system a part-time job at Starbucks would likely no longer provide you with an insurance back up anymore.

Paul Krugman brought to my attention an article by John McCain in the September/October issues of Contingencies, (the magazine of the American Academy of Actuaries). It is called Better Health Care at Lower Cost for Every American. In this article McCain expounded upon what he believes to be the brilliance of market-based health reform. Here is what he had to say:

“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.”

Wow dude, what a stellar idea. Yes, we have deregulated banking over the last decade and what a sweet spot it has landed us in. Maybe if we follow suit with healthcare, my cancer could go subprime. Maybe I could foreclose on my tumors too. But if we are going to follow in the footsteps of what lead us up to the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac government bail outs, are we just waiting for Blue Cross and Aetna government bail outs too?

In a system of deregulation where the government simply steps in when big companies fail, why not step in with the government from the get go? Why not have regulations to avoid these kinds of belly up debacles. Oh, right that would limit the guys who run these companies to only being able to afford three or four houses instead of however many houses they currently own. How many houses do they own? Oh, I forgot, they’ll have to check with their staff to figure that out.

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Comment(s)

  1. lisa f. Says:
    September 29th, 2008 at 12:25 AM

    this is great – i love how you laid out such an important issue!

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