Tuesday, February 06, 2007

# Posted 11:13 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

EDWARDS ON HEALTH CARE: Edwards has clearly read the playbook for second-tier primary candidates. Appeal to the base by swinging away from the center, since front-runner will hesitate to do anything that compromises her chances in the general election.

And what if the second-tier primary candidate gets the nomination on the basis of positions that are hard to defend in the general? No reason to worry about that now. Instead, shoot for the moon as Edwards did on Sunday morning.

In his interview with Edwards, Tim Russert brought up the subject of healthcare by playing this clip from Edwards' recent speech:
Can we finally say we stand now and forever for every single man, woman and child in America having health care, universal health care? We will leave no one behind. We will not allow a single family or a single child in America to not have health care coverage and to not have the health care that they need and deserve.
As Russert said,
Universal health care, noble goal, but that’s 47 million more men, women and children. How much would that cost and what kind of plan would you propose?

SEN. EDWARDS: It’d cost between 90 and 120 billion a year once it’s—once it’s fully implemented.
Per year. And where's the money going to come from?
MR. RUSSERT: Would you be willing to raise taxes in order to help pay for this?

SEN. EDWARDS: Yes, we’ll have to raise taxes. The, the only way you can pay for a health care plan, from 90--that costs anywhere from $90 billion to $120 billion is there has to be a revenue source. The revenue source for paying for the plan that I’m proposing is, is first we get rid of George Bush’s tax cuts for people who make over $200,000 a year.
Edwards has raised the ante. Will Hillary match it? How about Obama?

Labels: , , ,

(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

I'm confused - does the vast (and I mean vast) Coke-and-Twinkie-devouring, chain-smoking, non-exercising public get the health care it needs in Edwards' plan? Or the care it deserves?
An easy way to fund it would be to cut some of the $500-600 billion being spent uselessly on defense.

I can respect arguments against universal healthcare the refer to problems in implementation. But arguments, which purport that it costs too much don't hold much water. What else could we use the money for that we're spending on Iraq? (FP Passport)
One thing has always bugged me about the universal health care debate. The Democrats bitch and moan about the Pentagon and FEMA (just to name two examples) screwing things up. Why do they think that a government run healthcare system would do better? I challenge anyone - do you LIKE going to the DMV/DPS/{insert gov agency} to simply RENEW your drivers license? Why doesn't this newly elected Democratic congress do something quick and simple and easy such as letting people buy insurance from out of state insurers. Competition - it's a beautiful thing.

I think that the FEMA and DMV analogies simply do not cut it. One cannot point to one government program or even a few, and then say "see how inefficient all government bureaucracy is".

Questions as to whether and to what degree the American medicare system (public health care) is more efficient than the other health care is elusive depending on a variety of factors. The medicare system may very well be more efficient. After all, more is spent per capita in the US with respect to GDP than other "developed" countries. This statistic is not determinative but definitely signals that the situation is not as clear cut as some might like it to be.

Also, efficiency and costs arguments ignore humanitarian issues. Should people's health be put at risk, or better put, should they go without medical care because due to their status in life: jobless, job without benefits, poor and unable to pay themselves, etc.? Arguments that avoid the ethical issues of health care are pretty weak.

Finally, it should not go without saying that there are many ways to implement universal health care - single payer systems and multi payer systems. France, Scandinavia and Canada all have different healthcare systems. And the one that Arnold, the Governator, has suggested differs too. There's no one way to address the issue. States can intertwine private and public health care in order to provide medical services universally.
The medicare system may very well be more efficient. After all, more is spent per capita in the US with respect to GDP than other "developed" countries.
What does 'efficient' mean in Canada?

What does 'efficient' mean in Canada?

Nice rebuttal.
This is a fascinating post.
Post a Comment