Saturday healthcare blogging pt. 3

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Erik Kain

Erik writes about video games at Forbes and politics at Mother Jones. He's the contributor of The League though he hasn't written much here lately. He can be found occasionally composing 140 character cultural analysis on Twitter.

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3 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    You’ve put a lot of work into these, dude. Well done!

    While I’m not in love with your plan, I would vastly prefer this to what we’re going to get.

    Nice, dude. Good job.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird says:

      That said, here’s why I think your plan won’t work:

      I don’t see where the supply of health care comes into play, necessarily. Where are the new doctors coming from? The new nurses? Right now, we are importing doctors from other countries because they would prefer to work in the US. I’m sure that some of that is because the USA is so friggin’ great. We have real football here. Our borscht isn’t anywhere near as bland as you get in Eastern Europe. If you want to keep up with Heroes, My Name is Earl, or that other show I heard about once, you want to live here. Let’s say that that is half of them.

      The other half are coming here for mercenary reasons. If we stop getting that influx of mercenary doctors (hey, good riddance, right?), we are going to have a lot less health care to provide to the poor children who deserve just as much health care as the rich.

      I worry that your plan (which is better than most I’ve seen) will dry up after a generation.

      I suppose we can always tweak and revamp as time allows, of course.Report

  2. Avatar Nob Akimoto says:

    Note that the supply issue is partly because of the split between specialist/primary care. Simply put most US doctors are going into specializations so there’s a demand for foreign doctors to fill primary care posts. (There are weird things like the composition of the AMA to take into account here, but basically specialists make about twice as much on average, however primary care physicians make a whole lot more in the US than elsewhere so there’s still the mercenary aspect.)

    I think still there’s the problematic fee for service model that’ll need revising (both the Senate and House bills have fairly significant features to try to boost primary care pay for example relative to specialists) and there’s very fundamental issues with how healthcare delivery is setup in the US that’ll hamstring any efforts. Wyden’s amendment is a nice start, maybe it’ll see introduction (I think as a general matter employers will probably prefer this in the long run, so there might be enough lobbying for it to make a final bill, despite the procedural ki-bosh that Baucus put on it) but there’s the weird federalism angle with healthcare that’ll need to be addressed as well.Report