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March 08, 2010


Heaven only knows what parts of health care are really "myths." None of us has read any of the bills. A final bill doesn't even exist. All the bills include enormous undefined areas that will eventually be fleshed out administratively.

Furthermore, the law can be guaranteed not to work as intended, because it doesn't work financially. It will cost a lot more than estimated. Time will tell whether...
-- services are cut,
-- taxes and charges are raised,
-- providers are stiffed,
-- rationing is imposed,
-- long waiting lists impose implicit rationing

We can anticipate some combination of the above, because the bill itself doesn't reduce health costs. Meanwhile, the substantial new coverage (which is socially beneficial) will add substantial new costs. Long term, even the admitted costs aren't covered by the bill's financing mechanism, let alone the unanticipated costs. (For Medicare, the actual costs was a multiple of what the Social Security Actuaries estimates. The anticipated costs turned out to be than half of the total costs.)

However, I tend to agree with Brendan that if the bill passes, negative feelings will be less by November. After all, the new system won't go into effect for several years, so the public won't be harmed by the "myths", even if they turn out to be true.

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