Why are they uninsured?

There’s a bit of confusion out there re why people don’t have health insurance.
There are likely multiple reasons; some people choose not to, others can’t afford it, and for the rest coverage may just not be available. Here are the facts.

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What voters want

One in five voters named health care as the issue of most concern to them in a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll: while health care is the top domestic issue, it is well behind Iraq as THE top issue.
But it isn’t ‘just’ health care; the poll data tells a much richer story about what voters want from Presidential candidates, and how they feel about the present contenders.

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Health care reform – Where the Democratic candidates stand

IMO there are three health care reform “have tos” universal coverage, a consistent benefit plan, and community rating.
Here’s where the Democratic candidates stand on each. This is a synopsis, a cheat sheet; some of the candidates have nuanced positions that don’t lend themselves to this type of quick and dirty review.

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Mandated coverage – a (very) brief pro and con.

Richard Eskow doesn’t like mandated coverage – and for a lot of good reasons.
Where I think Richard misses the mark is that without mandated coverage we have cost-shifting on a grand scale, along with the myriad other problems that go along with uninsurance – lousy care of chronic conditions being among the worst.

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Health care reform – the basics

After immersing myself in the Democratic candidates’ speechifying, policy papers, interview transcripts, and others’ opinions about same, here’s my take on what health care reform should do.
We’ll get to where each candidate stands on each “requirement” tomorrow. Much as I’d like to include the GOP guys, to date there’s been precious little on health care from anyone on that side of the aisle.

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The case for single payer

Here is the case for single payer. Not saying that I agree with it, but here it is. Before you roll your eyes and click on “delete”, take a minute to consider the perspective of the single payer advocate.
I’m sitting in the only formal session of Take Back America dedicated to health care. The moderator, Roger Hickey of the Campaign for America’s Future, noted that the number one or two issue in most polls concerning election issues is health care. This being a policy conference, and health care being a key policy issue, one would think that there would be more than one session on health care, and that the panelists would include luminaries such as Paul Ginsburg of the Center for Studying Health System Change, Uwe Reinhardt, Karen Davis of the Kaiser Family Foundation, or Bob Laszewski of Health Policy and Strategy Associates.
That’s not the case. Even more puzzling, none of the panelists or attendees asked the key question – can Medicare control cost? I address that central question at the end of this post.

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Edwards on health care

I don’t envy any pol who has to speak after Barack Obama, even if you are as accomplished a speaker as John Edwards. Despite the difficulty, Edwards acquitted himself admirably.
Now onto the topic we’re all focused on; where Edwards is on health care.

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