Here’s another example of rhetoric sans analysis — and note the timbre of partisanship:
The Republican plans often read like talking point lists from a conservative backwards-thinking tank: “tort reform,” “mandates,” “high-deductible health plans,” and, of course, “tax credits galore.” Memo to conservatives – people want a choice of affordable, comprehensive health plans and they don’t want a smokescreen of bad ideas instead of that goal.
Scare quotes let you know that he doesn’t feel like thinking or talking about the relative merits of ideas. But even a brief discussion of Searings’ scarequoted phrases reveals there is much more depth than he’d like you to believe. And "people want" let’s you know that he doesn’t care about costs or the means, he just cares about people getting what they want — you know, like healthcare grows on trees.
Mandates — Items government forces you to purchase in your healthplan which drive up costs – or as Searing puts it, starts "jacking up rates".
High-deductible Health Plans — Affordable plans that people can get to control healthcare costs, but require us pay for more out-of-pocket expenses. Very often HDHPs are coupled with a health savings account (HSA), which allows you save for out-of-pocket expenses in a tax-protected account you get to keep. A great option for young people who usually only need out-of-pocket healthcare. The catastrophic portion is there when they need it (and any high deductible is covered by the HSA). If you had a $30,000 knee surgury, would a $3000 deductible be all that objectionable? Sadly, Searing likes the cost-shifting of the current system, which tends to benefit the upper middle class. I prefer consumer-driven healthcare, which is why I bought such a plan for my family.
Tax credits — This is how you help all people – working poor and middle class – get access to healthcare. Indeed, North Carolina spends more than $20,000 per working family on health and human services — most of which is Medicaid (HT – Brian Balfour). Just think how much you could do with that money if you just subsidized the poor to get their own healthcare with tax credits (which they prefer over government healthcare). Tax credits would also allow people to address the unequal tax treatment which favors employer-based insurance — a problem that Searing doesn’t care one iota about, apparently.
Does Adam Searing hate good ideas? Yep, if they’re not embraced by his chosen party and/or if they don’t let bureaucrats run your life, he does.
(Update: Oops, oh and tort reform is a means to keep outrageous malpractice award sums from driving up the cost of malpractice insurance (which is passed onto you). Sure, negligent doctors should have to pay for their mistakes. But the citizens of North Carolina shouldn’t have to pay for greedy lawyers who’re suing to keep themselves in Mercedes, or for juries who think they can put a value on human life by adding zeroes to award sums. The system is perverse.)