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July 28, 2009

Ezra Klein, Who Has the Beautiful Luxury of Not Working for An Organization, Except Now He's Going to Be Diplomatic, Explains Health Insurance Exchanges

Building the beginnings of a new, better healthcare system off to the side.

They're not at all intended to hoodwink the public into accepting single-payer by pretending it's something else.

Ah the lure of lower costs and improved quality.

Compared with the crazy-quilt system we have now, the idea behind the health insurance exchange is almost weirdly simple: It's a single market, structured for consumer convenience, in which you choose between the products of competing health insurers (both public and private). This is not a new idea. It is how we buy everything from books to socks to soup.

Which, incidentally, is not how we buy books and socks and soup, not from the federal government. Hell, we've only been buying cars from them for a few weeks now.

He explains the two flavors, called "strong plan" and "weak plan". Both in his view are just a means to an end, when he doesn't have to be diplomatic. But despite his obvious bias he writes they are both just competitive options to the private industry (which he wishes we could wipe away with the stroke of a pen).

Nonsense. It's absurd to assert that private insurors can hope to compete with a federally-backed public "option" that can dictate terms and conditions to providers (as it does now) instead of having to negotiate them. Private insurors cannot compete with a public option while unencumbered with the requirement to hold cash reserves to fund its plan (a public plan needs none of this, it will merely suck more obligations from the treasury).

It's almost "weirdly simple" because it's "weirdly made-up bullshit intended to sound like a smorgasboard of health care" while moving us down the road to the only fair system that could possibly work, that 86% of Americans don't want, only one choice that is no choice at all.

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posted by Dave In Texas at 09:21 PM

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