I’ve talked about this before with various friends and sundry, but I’ve never blogged about it.
The problem with the Health Care debate in this country is that most of the solutions offered are almost as complex as the problem they’re trying to address, or they’re stupidly simple without simultaneously making the overall problem more simple. This is one case where our system, which has grown and evolved over time, has become unnecessarily complex. I was finally going to blog about it this week, and then I happened to notice something truly remarkable: Mr. Denniger already wrote it. Twice. Holy tamoly, this is *exactly* what I’ve been saying about health care for *years*.
Note: I’m not particularly certain that my/his idea will immediately correct all the problems with our health care system. One major problem not addressed, for example, is that the doctor population in this country is hugely rewarded for choosing specialty care as their practice, when what we really need is more general practitioners. Another is that there is going to be a rather ugly transitional period here, since all medical billing is currently completely insane. Just two examples.
But this is one case where I do agree fundamentally with conservatives who say that massive infrastructure isn’t what’s required to solve the problem. Certainly there are issues here, even with Karl’s framework. It removes medical bankruptcy, which is good. It ensures that everyone gets lifesaving care, which is good. It doesn’t actually solve the long term problem of the free riders, though, since people still won’t get enough insurance, they’ll still go to the emergency room, and it doesn’t really matter if your debt is assigned to the IRS to collect if you’re never going to make enough money to pay it off.
However, it resets the playing field at “not completely, utterly, and overwhelmingly complex to the point of utter insanity”. It turns insurance companies into true “amortization of risk” companies, which is what they ought to be (note: I’m not convinced that limiting by state is the best long-term solution, but it’s an appropriate place to get started).
It won’t fix everything, but it will certainly remove layers upon layers of obfuscation.