The White House – Blog Post – Reality Check has some interesting thoughts on the on-going health-care debate. And I’m afraid I don’t really mean that in a nice way.
First, the blog points out that a recent survey from WellPoint uses obviously “flawed” techniques to make an unsustainable point, as part of a “misinformation campaign designed to confuse and distract attention from those who are seeking real health care solutions.”
Then, the blog responds to “one novel argument worth noting”: the survey claims that “imposing fees on health insurance providers and drug and device makers represents a tax on individuals and families” (because the costs will be passed along to customers). The blog discounts this notion with three arguments:
- The bookkeeping necessary for insurance companies to pass these costs along would be prohibitive. But, excuse me: too much bookkeeping for an insurance company? They live and die, quite properly, on extensive, exhaustive, constantly revised bookkeeping. You think they can’t divide a fee based on their number of subscribers, by the number of subscribers?
- Even if they took the trouble to pass the fee on, other parts of the plan will save them money, so obviously they’ll pass the savings along, too. Again, excuse me? The very people using trumped up surveys to block progress are suddenly going to turn all nicey-nicey? We have what reason to expect this?
- And, anyway, consumers save because of the reduced hidden tax currently paid in care for the uninsured. But this “hidden tax” is paid through the mechanism of providers spreading costs to paying customers—i.e., insurance carriers—and ultimately of course to consumers (the legendary $100 slippers and all that). This last blog argument is so vague, I’m not even clear whether it foolishly supposes health care providers are not actually businesses, or whether it’s just reapplying that faulty logic to the insurance carriers. But either way: the current debate, the very survey that occasions this blog, provides all the evidence you need to know it ain’t so.
Filed under: Gov 2.0 |