Monday, February 8, 2010

A "Mad-As Hell Doctor" writes in CommonDreams

Paul Hochfeld, a Corvallis doctor with whom I am slightly acquainted, has written an interesting article which appears in this morning's CommonDreams. Read it here.

A key point made by Dr. Hochfeld:

"Single payer means one risk pool. You've heard the slogan. Everyone in. Nobody out. We gather all the money that employers and individuals are currently paying for health care. It's not more money. It's the same money, already being spent on health care, but by pooling it, we can save 20% right off the top."

This may be true, but two key problems standing in the way of such a reform are:

1. Because of the current financing of medical care largely through "employer-paid" insurance which does not show up on individuals' pay stubbs as income most people are not aware how much this insurance is already (indirectly) costing them.

2. Nobody has come up with a system for capturing "all the money that employers and individuals are currently paying." How to get from here to there may be the most troublesome question facing reformers here.

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