ProJo Editors Support Single-Payer and Higher Taxes
In his Wednesday column, “The trouble with health care is paying for it“, Michael Barone wrote:
We know now that it costs a lot of money to pay for insurance policies with expanded coverage for an expanded number of people. And we know that no one wants to pay the price.
We may be in the process of learning something else. Which is that insurance coverage that further insulates patients from costs results in unanticipated increases in health care spending. Yes, it bends the cost curve, but in the wrong direction. That’s what has happened with the much-praised Massachusetts system.
It also happened in Maine and other states that tried to offer a “public option.” For their part, the ProJo editors see the mish-mash of problems reflected in the current plans being considered in Washington and think the problem is lack of a “public option”. Further, they remain convinced that the best option is not less government intrusion into health care, but more. Particularly in the form of a universal, single-payer system:
….how much more economical and efficient a single-payer plan would be than the mosaics being created in Congress to please the insurance companies spending so much money there. Health insurance works best for the public when the pool covers as wide a spectrum of the population as possible.
However, as they admit, we’ll have to be taxed more to pay for this “economical and efficient” system:
Such devices as taxes on fancy “Cadillac” insurance plans, meant to move people into less-expensive ones, and smaller federal subsidies for private Medicare plans, which have been wonderful cash cows for insurers though very expensive for the public and providing no real benefit to public health, would help a bit.
But broad-based taxes will have to be raised (or invented) to pay for universal coverage and for Medicare costs for the Baby Boomers as they slide into decrepitude.
Well, at least their honest. If we really want the European style health care the ProJo continually trumpets, we’ll have to pay European style taxes to support it. With the current recession, that’s really good timing, guys