04 February 2007

John Edwards: huh?

It's not enough to go on, but here's what Edwards said this morning on Meet the Press about healthcare.

He'd raise taxes, chiefly on the wealthy, to pay for expanded healthcare under a plan costing $90 billion to $120 billion a year. Details coming tomorrow.

It would expand Medicaid, the federal program administered by states for low-income families. It would offer subsidies for the uninsured. It would ask employers to play a bigger role — evidently they'd either have to cover their employees or buy into "what we're calling health markets."

This makes more sense if Edwards were saying that employees were going to play a bigger role — because it is also a Democratic goal to decouple our health system from employers. Furthermore, Edwards evidently talked about national "health markets."
One choice available in the markets would be "the government plan, so people who like the idea of a single-payer health insurance plan, that is actually one of the alternatives," he said.

Doesn't that sound like employees, rather than employers?

More importantly, this story says nothing about the role of private insurance. Is Edwards talking about something like Eskow is (below), and I'm just not as reflexively hostile to it because he didn't use the word "voucher" or "to pay for private insurance"?

Could you have a single-payer plan, paid for by everyone's taxes, and then people who were — ah! — reflexively hostile to it could buy their own insurance?

That might work. It would be like public schools, where there's a basic public good for everyone, and then those who have $10,000, $20,000 or whatever to toss to the winds could buy private insurance. Along with Phillips Exeter.

Something for Bush's base.

1 comment:

RJ Eskow said...

My "plan" (if you can call it that) relies less on employers than Edwards' seems to do. Other than that - and my use of the objectionable word "voucher" - they appear similar.

I commented in more detail below, in your original post attacking mine.