Arnold Kling  

Unbent and Unbowed

Unchecked and Unbalanced The Worst Solution to the Fina...

Doug Elmendorf tries to speak truth to power

Instead of saving the federal government from fiscal catastrophe, the health reform measures being drafted by congressional Democrats would increase rather than reduce public spending on health care, potentially worsening an already bleak budget outlook, the director of the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this morning.

You mean a tax surcharge on high-income people doesn't bend the health care cost curve?

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COMMENTS (3 to date)
Scott writes:

Can't we, concerned citizens, find a better way to encourage low cost health care in this country? Organizations raise money for health care all the time. Let's do it in a way that would help the industry find the models that work for providing health care at lower costs.

If we had a million dollars to give away to the providers that make health care affordable what would we do? Give some to physicians who give an effective physical examination at the lowest price? (How would we make sure the quality was high?) Give some to an insurance company that offers a certain standard of coverage at the lowest price? (What would the standard of coverage be?) Give some to the hospital that charges the lowest amount for a given "basket" of services? (What would comprise the "basket" of services?) This industry likes to make money as much as any other industry does. I think it will respond, and that the answer is behind these questions.

I'd love to read some thoughts either here or as comments on my blog at

The Cupboard Is Bare writes:

"Can't we, concerned citizens, find a better way to encourage low cost health care in this country?"

There are better ways. Once upon a time, Obama said that there were ways of dealing with healthcare that included free market solutions (I believe it was during the campaign). There was talk of private individuals forming large groups in order to purchase health insurance at affordable rates. That plan has apparently been scrapped and we are now looking at a government run situation.

So, yes, I believe that concerned citizens can find a way to encourage low cost health care; but I suspect that the government is going to prevent private citizens from doing anything about it.

Dan Weber writes:

I think one of the Senate bills is trying to get health care co-ops going. Or maybe that's my wishful thinking filtering what I hear on the radio.

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