Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is Medicare a good model for Health Care Reform?

Medicare Would Rather Buy $8000 Computer than $150 iPhone App

Gizmodo — Say that, all things equal, you could fix a problem for $8000 or fix the same problem for $150. Which would you choose? Clearly, you are not Medicare.

Proloquo2Go is a text-to-speech iPhone app that's meant to aid those with autism, cerebral palsy, ALS, Down Syndrome—pretty much anyone who has a disability that makes speaking a difficult venture. It costs $150.
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Questions Over How to Pay for Health Reform

Newsweek — How is the government going to pay the upfront 10-year costs of health-care reform (a.k.a. health-insurance reform)? Well, despite months of hearings, committee markups, and backstage negotiating, the White House and Hill Democrats are still making up the answer as they go along. That's my conclusion based on what I was told─and not told─during and after a White House background briefing before the president's address to Congress last week. As outlined, Barack Obama's preferred compromise plan would cost $900 billion over 10 years. At the briefing, I and a group of other reporters and columnists were told that $600 billion of that cost would be recouped through savings in the administration and the medical practices of Medicare, Medicaid, and other existing (and presumably very wasteful and poorly designed) programs. Another $200 billion, we were told, would come from proceeds of a new "fee" on high-end "Cadillac" health-care plans.
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Why Small-Government Proponents Champion Medicare

New York Times — If the tax system is wildly wasteful and public services are mediocre, then there will be little public enthusiasm for expanding the size of the state. Can this explain why some advocates of limited government have become the archdefenders of Medicare’s largess? After all, if health care stays enormously expensive, then this will surely limit Americans’ appetite for expanding the entitlement to health care.
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