erik lundegaard

Saturday August 01, 2009

Krugman: “Government involvement is the only reason our [health care] system works at all”

Right here.

Please don't buy the various anti-government scare tactics. It's b.s. You probably know it's b.s. Listen to Krugman:

Private markets for health insurance, left to their own devices, work very badly: insurers deny as many claims as possible, and they also try to avoid covering people who are likely to need care. Horror stories are legion...

Most Americans do have health insurance, and are reasonably satisfied with it. How is that possible, when insurance markets work so badly? The answer is government intervention.

Most obviously, the government directly provides insurance via Medicare and other programs. Before Medicare was established, more than 40 percent of elderly Americans lacked any kind of health insurance...

The vast majority [of Americans under 65], however, donít buy private insurance directly: they get it through their employers. Thereís a big tax advantage to doing it that way, since employer contributions to health care arenít considered taxable income. But to get that tax advantage employers have to follow a number of rules; roughly speaking, they canít discriminate based on pre-existing medical conditions or restrict benefits to highly paid employees.

And itís thanks to these rules that employment-based insurance more or less works...

So hereís the bottom line: if you currently have decent health insurance, thank the government...

Posted at 11:20 AM on Saturday August 01, 2009 in category Politics  
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