Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Newsweek's Fineman opposes health reform

Anyone notice Howard Fineman's column in Newsweek today? Too bad it took him a bout with food poisoning in Argentina to realize what I've been saying for months: that health care is simply too expensive in the United States, and that the reform proposals currently on the table would not do enough to reduce the cost of care.

As Fineman, a left-of-center guy, puts it:

"President Obama proclaims his plan (whatever it finally is) to be 'reform.' But from what I can see, it would merely feed, at taxpayer expense, 30 million currently 'uncovered' people into a wasteful system that doesn't have either the price-signaling power of a marketplace or the sweeping overview and control of a state-run bureacracy."

Almost exactly right. Almost.

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The only thing wrong with that statement is the implication that all or most of the 30 million newly insured Americans would get coverage "at taxpayer expense." Actually, many would be forced to buy overpriced insurance at THEIR OWN expense.

Fineman noted that he got perfectly adequate, if less frilly, care in Argentina, for at least half of what it would have cost him in the U.S., even after accounting for the currency-value difference, and wonders: "Where does all that extra money go?"

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