Saturday, March 08, 2008

Fortune on why no plan for health care is "best"

I know that it is foolish to look for wisdom in the pages of "Fortune" and I would never buy the magazine myself, but they decided to send me several "free" issues when Business 2.0 folded. So here it is...and I find myself reading "Why McCain has the best Health-Care Plan" by Shawn Tully. [I linked to Fortune's website which lists the article but they provide no link to the story--sorry readers.] In any event I was astonished they would even print the article since McCain's "plan" leaves out sick people and how he intends to pay for it (according to their own reporting--see below). But apparently that is better than a health a care plan that covers the sick (& the 1 in 6 Americans without insurance) if the alternative involves some government subsidy.

Below is my emailed response to the Fortune author:

Good luck to both you and McCain selling this "plan" to Americans making less than ~$250k/yr. Companies are totally obsolved of responsibility for their workers health care, undoubtedly a plus for any C-level executive earning over $1million/yr. But how you or McCain can call this a "plan" is beyond my understanding.

It was refreshing to see an admission that "For his plan to work, McCain has to tell us how he would deal with the old and the sick" & "that means his plan will require huge subsidies he's not talking about." So if one doesn't count the unhealthy, the unemployed, people who can't afford health care or all the costs he is not talking about...this one looks like a real winner!

Meanwhile you bash the Democrates because they want regulate the insurance industry "limiting everything from profits to marketing expenses". While I disagree with this assesment...some people would consider that a prudent method of cost control for an industry where "costs are rising far faster than wages". "The Clinton and Obama plans would enormously increase total health care spending but disguise the extra costs by shifting them to taxpayers". Again one could more logically argue that controling costs will decrease total health care spending, but putting that aside the Dems are saying that Americans are already paying too much and getting too little from the health care system. At least their plan means 47 million more Americans will get something from the system.

But I suppose this flies in the face of your notion that health care is a luxury good--"Imagine a world where health care is treated as the precious resource it is"...for tens of millions of Americans, just imagining a world where health care is an available resource would be precious indeed.


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