Wednesday, April 11, 2007

How Many Angels Fit On The Head Of A Pin?

Matthew Yglesias discusses some of the variants of the Health Savings Account plans for upgrading our health care system. I wonder what is the point? Much of this discussion appears to be based on the fact that the insurance lobby is so powerful that we need to do a bloated schedule D plan that still allow the insurance beast to be fed in order to get health care to the 46 million americans without coverage?

It's a lack of imagination and effort that creates such thinking. HMO's don't have a right to exist. They are not people, no matter how badly many want corporations treated as individuals. We ban heroin dealers, we can ban for profit health care except on a cash basis.

We can control costs on pills, on procedures if we take the profit motive out. All that skimming off the top, plus the overhead created by staff needed to decode all the different forms from the different insurance players would create a large part of the capital needed to cover everybody. We wouldn't get all the way there, but it would be close enough so that the burden would not be insurmountable.

We can waste a trillion in Iraq, we can lock up non violent drug offenders and pay for their upkeep, we can get national health care. It's just a matter of will. Any half assed health savings account solution is worse than no solution at all in the long run. It will make it that much harder to change, because we will be told that we need to give the rube goldberg plans "time to work", at the same time that people are needlessly suffering.