Some recommended links:
Jon Gabel of the National Opinion Research Center writes an op-ed in the NYTimes questioning the ability of the CBO to accurately predict savings in reform:
As health care reform makes its way through Congress, the budget office’s assessment of how much various elements might cost may determine the details of legislation, and whether it ultimately passes. But when it comes to forecasting the costs of reform, the budget office’s record is suspect. In each of the past three decades, when assessing major changes in Medicare, it has substantially underestimated the savings the changes would bring.At TPM, Josh posts the concerns of a doctor has an idea why fellow professionals aren't more engaged in the reform effort:
Remember our daily lives: every insurance company requires that we are certified with them, every company has a different form to use, every company says no to our initial request. Hospitals rarely collect more than 40 cents on the dollar billed. THEY DRIVE US CRAZY. So, why not enlist us in the cause?Steven Pearlstein rips Michael Steele.
There are many examples of low-hanging fruit: a universal billing form, available for electronic submission to cut down on paper work and administration costs; a penalty for a claim incorrectly rejected...He needs to show us why reform will improve our working lives as well as our patients lives. If he did that, there would be no louder advocates.
David Leonhardt explains the benefits of an approach like Wyden-Bennett, which Nashville Congressman *sigh* Jim Cooper supports, but hardly anyone else.
In the simplest version, families would receive a voucher worth as much as their employer spends on their health insurance. They would then buy an insurance plan on an “exchange” where insurers would compete for their business. The government would regulate this exchange. Insurers would be required to offer basic benefits, and insurers that attracted a sicker group of patients would be subsidized by those that attracted a healthier group.
The immediate advantage would be that people could choose a plan that fit their own preferences, rather than having to accept a plan chosen by human resources....
The longer-term advantage would be that health insurance would become fully subject to the brutal and wonderful forces of the market. Insurers that offered better plans — plans that drew on places like the Mayo Clinic to offer good, lower-cost care — would win more customers.