Thursday, December 6, 2007

Health mandates, shmandates (on

Mandated purchase of private health insurance could cost nearly 45% more than Medicare for all:
Private insurance is supposed to add 30% costs (20% insurance provider paperwork and procedure denial machinery and 10% doctors dealing with multiple plans paperwork and fending of denial). 30 is 42.8% of 70: nearly 45%.

The poverty line multiples really need to be cut in half (adjusted for reality if you will) before discussion of income levels even begins — because the federal poverty line is based on the useless (if too obviously understated) measure of three times (3X) the price of the cheapest possible emergency diet (dried beans only, no canned beans please!). The 2002 book, Raise the Floor has a professionally worked out poverty line which comes to twice (2X) the official federal line.

Whatever multiples of poverty a person’s wages may be, some individuals will not be in a position to purchase insurance because of their personal situations, making for potentially tragic situations in a programs supposedly trying to help those most in need. We equally need to take into account the tragic state of wages on the low end in this country thanks to the race to the bottom that began in the early 70s. Our standards for what people should be paid are way off what they would be, in an adequately unionized country for instance — potentially leading to more misjudgment on the impact of mandates on people who really cannot afford them.

The only reason I ever see progressives offering for not advocating Medicare for all as best option is the assumption that politicians will be overwhelmed by the politicking of the insurance companies — no other objection. Seems a weak rationale for throwing their support behind a basically undesirable program right at the beginning of a national discussion. Especially when polls show most Americans support Medicare for all as the ideal way to go. Show a little moxie fellows and maybe one of the politicians will get their courage up and follow you (Huckabee?) — couldn’t happen?

December 6th, 2007 11:16 am

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