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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Health care for few

Speaking of pointless health care reforms, Republicans have introduced a bill to "help" with health care costs. Surprise, surprise, the bill consists of a cap on malpractice awards.

The story doesn't explain exactly how this will reduce health care costs. That's because it won't. If malpractice awards were really $27.5 million in Minnesota last year, that means it is less than 1% of health care spending in this state, assuming that annual health care spending is more than $3 billion (I'm too lazy to look it up, but considering how much just the government spends on health care, I'm willing to bet it is). How eliminating these costs will help is beyond me.

So, to sum up: The Democratic proposal will actually get more people health insurance if businesses who are not enrolled in a plan choose to enroll in the state plan. The Republican plan will...well, I don't know what it will do, but there's nothing in that bill that explicitly gets insurance to more people. Decisions, decisions.


At 1:25 PM, March 09, 2005, Blogger Hammer said...

The Republicans are going to keep running the same play until we stop it. Step 1 is find a real issue: Social Security's long-term solvency, the rising cost of health care, international terrorism. Step 2 is to advance a "solution" that utterly fails to address the issue. Privatization worsens Social Security's long-term financial outlook. Medical malpractice premiums are a miniscule part of health care spending and are far more closely related to insurer's profit margins than jury verdicts. Iraq had no ties to terrorism to justify invasion and has done little, if anything, to make us safer.
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