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Fri Sep 20, 2019, 03:16 PM

Bloomberg analysis of Buttigieg health plan

I already posted this link in a reply to a post in Democratic Primaries on universal health care, but thought it might be useful to folks to see it here, too:
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-09-19/buttigieg-s-health-plan-gets-one-big-thing-right

One crucial difference ó and not just with Bidenís plan ó is that Buttigiegís proposal explicitly calls out hospital and provider prices as a critical driver of health care costs. His plan would cap out-of-network provider charges at double what Medicare would pay for the same service. Many providers charge substantially more than that, but even Democratic presidential candidates tend to avoid the issue and focus on easier political targets like insurers and drugmakers. Out-of-control prices are an inevitable consequence of Americaís confusing mash-up of private employer coverage, public plans and individual insurance options. Fragmentation reduces negotiating power and makes it extremely difficult to bargain effectively with providers, especially as hospitals consolidate.
. . .
Even candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders who call for ďMedicare for All,Ē which would require steeper and more widespread provider cost cuts, donít go out of their way to talk about the issue. Provider prices came up only a few times across five Democratic debates in which health care received sustained airtime. Itís a touchy subject, considering the large number of people employed by health providers and their relative popularity among voters.

Buttigiegís willingness to openly address the issue is a refreshing step forward in the health policy debate and boosts the appeal of his plan. His proposal would retain many of the current systemís flaws, even with the addition of a public option. But the cap has the chance to improve matters substantially. On top of cutting outlier prices, it would bolster negotiating leverage for the public option and private plans by making it less lucrative for providers to refuse to join insurance networks. It could bring the cost of insurance and care down and expand access in a less disruptive manner.

In many ways, his plan still falls far short of single-payer options. Medicare for All could do far more to bring costs down by folding people with private insurance into a national plan and would provide substantially more generous coverage to many more people. The cost of such a plan and voter concerns about eliminating private coverage means itís not guaranteed to pass even if Democrats take back the White House and Senate. In that light, itís refreshing to have a more moderate alternative that at least acknowledges and attempts to tackle one of the health systemís biggest issues.

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Reply Bloomberg analysis of Buttigieg health plan (Original post)
MBS Sep 20 OP
CaliforniaPeggy Sep 20 #1

Response to MBS (Original post)

Fri Sep 20, 2019, 05:15 PM

1. Thank you for posting this interesting and important bit of analysis, my dear MBS.

It gets into some of the nitty gritty that other plans lack. And I need to read stuff like this!

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