Healthcare

It’s nice being in the company of “experts” Sanders Medicare for all gets knocked again. 

Back on January 20 I read a summary of the Sanders Medicare for all plan and I wrote this; Old Bernie’s health care plan is a joke, no; beyond that, it’s a farce

I don’t claim to be a health policy expert, an economist or a Nobel prize winner. I do, however, lay claim to a modicum  of common sense and I have a pretty good understanding of how health care and insurance works. Perhaps that’s why it took me about sixty seconds to figure out the Sanders plan was a joke without crunching the numbers or calling in the experts.

 Unless you believe you can have it all for less, you would come to the same conclusion. 

But unlike the economists, my other concern about Sanders and his plethora of free stuff and never ending higher taxes is his lack of coordination among his spending proposals and failure to address existing issues like the funding shortfall for Social Security and Medicare and tax reform before heading off on the road to Shangri-La.

For future note; unless you dramatically reduce the amount of health care received by Americans, a single-payer system will not save money. I’ll leave it to you to ponder how that will be accomplished. 

Paul Krugman – New York Times Blog

Single Payer Trouble

A week ago I worried about the Sanders health plan; it looked as if he was low-balling costs in an effort to obscure how hard making such a plan would be, and how many currently well-insured people would end up being losers.

Now Kenneth Thorpe, a health policy expert (and a long-term supporter of health reform who believes that single payer would be a good thing if politically feasible) has tried to crunch the numbers, and it really doesn’t look good. Thorpe estimates that the plan would actually require about twice as much new revenue as Sanders claims.

The Sanders campaign is calling this a “hatchet job”; but as Jonathan Cohn says, Thorpe’s assumptions are broadly consistent with what most health policy experts believe.

Or as Ezra Klein puts it,

the gap between Thorpe and Sanders is the gap between an economist who is optimistic that single-payer can save some money and a campaign optimistic that it can save a huge amount of money.

And it’s not good to see the campaign basically responding to questions about its numbers by attacking the motives of someone who should be on their side.

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1 reply »

  1. Bernie needs to amend his pitch from “bring us all together” to “We want the best (health coverage, benefits, stuff) YOUR money will buy.” Hard to believe he got two votes in New Hampshire, let alone 151,573. Have to wonder about Democratic voter sanity.

    What are Bernie’s economic chops? As far as I know, he has a degree in political science from University of Chicago. I looked and found nothing that he has written or previously proposed on health care coverage other than his totally unworkable senate legislative proposal – the American Health Security Act, S. 1782 (2013-2014)

    Who are his economic advisors? I am told that Bernie “listens” to Paul Krugman and Joseph Stieglitz. Those two both famously endorsed a stimulus that would have been two to three times larger in 2009 – which would have truly bounced our debt to far in excess of $20 – 25 Trillion today. Or, I’m told he listens to Elizabeth Warren. Wanna see lies about health care – just check out her work (with Himmelstein and Thorne) on so called “medical bankruptcies”. It was some of the worst economic bullcrap I have ever seen – and it has been parroted by all the D’s in their support for PPACA – President Obama, Hillary, Pelosi, Reed, the AARP, etc.

    But, the only person who we know has a direct link to Bernie seems to be Gerald Friedman, a UMass-Amherst economic historian (who seems to have written extensively on unions and labor movements over the past 30 years, but nothing previously on health care). He analyzed Bernie’s health care plan – see what others think of his analysis: http://www.forbes.com/sites/timworstall/2016/02/09/bernies-favourite-economist-predicts-lovely-things-from-bernies-economic-plans/#af1f2d23f8e3

    Like

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