December 09, 2009
Kicking the Can

Why the Medicare buy-in is a fine idea — probably better than an anemic “public option” that has been practically strangled pre-birth by the insurance lobby. This from Gooznews.

…The decade before people enter Medicare (55 to 64) is the time of life when many people develop the chronic diseases that will make them the most expensive patients in Medicare once they get there. Diabetes, heart disease and many cancers often emerge in late middle-age. Intervening when the warning signals of these diseases first appear can moderate or even eliminate many of these costly conditions.

Medicare is the ONLY insurer with a long-term interest in engaging in this kind of health care system-delivered secondary prevention. Every other insurer has a self-interest in kicking the can down the road because they know it will be the government and taxpayers that ultimately pick up the tab when those chronic conditions become the most costly…

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Posted by Jerome Doolittle at December 09, 2009 07:04 PM
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It may be a fine idea in itself, but hardly a substitute for health care for everyone under 55.

Posted by: Mike Goldman on December 9, 2009 9:50 PM

Everyone has a universal "human right" to basic healthcare whether they can afford it or not, at least in civilized countries. That is the position most, if not all, developed countries have adopted as well as many underdeveloped countries. We are bringing up the rear in basic human rights putting us behind most of the world, but the main thing is we are squandering vast sums of money and lives pursuing a war without a comprehensible objective or visible or achievable end. WTF, over?

Posted by: Knowdoubt on December 10, 2009 8:20 AM

Heute 55, Morgen die Welt!

Posted by: Fast Eddie on December 10, 2009 8:52 AM

It's not a substitute for a decent plan, but it might help to establish the idea that Medicare works for as many people as we choose to cover with it.

I would have dumped this compromise out of hand until I saw that Bernie Sanders has hope for it being better than the weak-ass public option that was about to be put into the bill. It's possible. Bernie's pretty sharp, in my opinion, but he's certainly not mainstream.

Posted by: Chuck Dupree on December 11, 2009 7:30 AM
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