Reading Health Care Reform

Ta-Nehisi Coates Talking Shop With Ezra Klein (Coates is the interviewer). The whole post is worth the few minutes to read. It definitely reminds me of some of my issues with the Democratic Party.

Can you paint the stakes in detail? What will be the cost of not passing this bill?

I’m going to put the choice very simply– If you pass the bill things get quite a bit better. If you don’t pass the bill things just continue to get worse. We all spend our time saying that this is not a perfect bill. That this is not our first choice. That If I were king I’d create a single-payer utopia. That’s because we’re intellectually honest. But that’s been a mistake. It’s obscured the fact that this bill is a tremendous improvement in the situation.

The basics of it remain the same. The people who really get helped are the people who end up without a large employer giving them insurance. For those people, this bill is a hedge against extremely bad luck. It’s a hedge against the worse part of the system–You lose your job because you have breast cancer and now no one will insure you. You have out of pocket medical bills that go up to 90 thousand. On an average day, none of that happens to us. But there comes a day that is not the average day, and that’s when everything goes wrong. This bill says we won’t allow it to go too wrong.

Beneath that there is the basic subsidy scheme. In 2019 you’re spending 200 billion a year in subsidies on poor people. When was the last time you’ve heard about government helping low income folks like that? It just doesn’t happen anymore.