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rant

health care, Republican style

hersir provides the following links to Republican health-care proposals:
one-page summary, and
an actual bill.

One part that I find interesting is the Universal Access Programs/Pools, which each state is supposed to set up to cover (via "reinsurance") high-risk patients that the private insurers don't want to touch. I think "reinsurance" means that high-risk patients buy insurance from ordinary private insurers, the state government (with Federal funding) insures the insurance company against having to pay out too much, and in exchange the insurer lowers the premium below what a patient at that risk level would ordinarily be charged -- no more than 150% of what an "ordinary-risk" patient would pay. In other words, the private company gets the upside (the 150% premiums) while the taxpayer covers the downside (the costs of treating these patients if anything really bad happens to them). It's just like the Wall Street bailout: the investment banks get the upside if the stock market rises, and the taxpayer covers the downside if it falls.

Adam Smith is rolling in his grave.

Oh, and they claim they can cover all the high-risk patients in the country for 2010-2019 for $25 billion. I don't know how many "high-risk" patients there are -- let's guess 25 million, so that would come to $100/patient/year. Riiight....

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