Arnold Kling  

Health Care Debating Points

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You can hear some of mine in this pre-debate radio interview.

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COMMENTS (5 to date)
Todd writes:

Sounds like your biggest hurdle is going to be convincing the audience that we need to move away from the "insulation from all health care related costs" model currently in force and toward a model that promotes widespread adoption of true insurance against low frequency, high severity events. Even the modest exposure to the costs of health care I've received through my high-deductible + HSA plan has made me a much more discerning consumer. I'm much more likely to ask about the more conservative, less costly approaches when I'm discussing treatment options with a physician.

JP writes:

I agree with Todd. The vociferous complaints whenever an employer increases the co-pay give an indication of how wedded people are to the idea of "free" healthcare.

Perhaps one selling point would be that service will be a lot better when the patient is paying the bills instead of an insurer.

floccina writes:

Arnold, as a compromise, how about universal health insurance with a deductible equal to your last year's adjusted income minus the poverty rate income for your family? Where people with 100K of adjusted income would have a deductible of 80K per year. You could then heavily tax gap insurance.

Justin Talbot writes:

At the end of the interview you mentioned that you would support government-funded "true insurance". I think moving that up front would improve the debate. Consider framing the question as follows:

For a given amount of government spending on health care, there are two extrema. Cover common cheap problems (eyeglasses example) or cover rare, expensive ones (cancer example). There is an inescapable trade off here. You support a solution close the latter end.

This allows you to incorporate both libertarian arguments, people will spend their own money more wisely and for common conditions will have access to the information needed to do so, and non-libertarian ones, individuals with severe medical conditions tend to be poorer and less able to hold jobs, thus it is more "fair" for them to receive public assistance.

Sven writes:

Todd's statements demonstrate the value of patient exposure to cost in controlling those costs. Also, the "audience" doesnt want to accept the cost of health care because our level of health care is one we simply cant afford for everyone - no matter how you pay for it. If we were talking about the cost of anything else: cars, baseball tickets....that fact would not be in dispute.

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