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« Florida Regulators Require Utilities to Disclose Executive Pay | Main | The Town Hall Crowd »

August 19, 2009


Steve Bandoh

With all due respect simplified flow charts like this are a bunch of BS. Honestly I'm all for fixing the health care industry but what this seemingly simple flow chart seems to conveniently leave out is cost figures. Additionally, what it doesn't address is the exactly how subsidized the public option will be (eg. how much it will cost the rest of us), the problems within both medicare & medicade, or the ramifications introducing a govt. run option will have on the health care market as a whole. I understand that many of you think healthcare is more about people than dollars but at the end of the day as a country what's more important, implementing a healthcare system that is only sustainable for 10-20 years before contributing to our fiscal downfall or slowing down and taking a much more responsible approach that in the long run will be sustainable.


I’m always ready to hear the worst when someone starts a response with “with all due respect.” It’s never about the respect after that. ;)

But, Steve, I appreciate your comments.

Let me tell you why I think the flow chart is helpful. First of all, there are a lot of nuts out there right now taking over the debate about healthcare reform by claiming that a public option will be running the private insurance companies out of business, or taking away customer’s choices, or replacing an insurance plan that they are already happy with. That’s nonsense and this chart shows exactly why. The public option being discussed in legislation in Congress now have no resemblance to the spectral entities being bandied about at town halls or on wingnut blogs. That should be clear already— but this chart makes it crystal clear— who will and who will not be affected by having a public option.

As for the debate over dollars and cents, the public option will be mainly a replacement for that part of the private market, as you can see from the chart, that the federal government would have to contribute to in any event. The fact that the federal government would NOT be paying private insurers roughly 30% for markup and administration means that the public option would SAVE dollars for the taxpayer, not cost more. Presently, we pay for care for those patients who need coverage in this market segment already. These folks already either qualify for Medicaid or eventually get treated expensively with emergency care when they can’t get preventive care.

So, I’m sorry one chart doesn’t answer all questions, but with all due respect, it does help. And I do think it's important to talk about dollars and cents, too.


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