Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cheat Sheets

I'd like to think that actually participating in one of the ACA's already enacted programs -- PCIP -- gifted me with lots of useful info and insight into the health insurance and health care access crisis in this country.  You'll have noticed, Dear Readers, that I mention it often enough.

But my official cheat sheet has often been Shadowfax over at Movin' Meat.  His Blogger "about me" consists of:

I am an ER physician and administrator living in the Pacific Northwest. I live with my wife and four kids. Various other interests include Shorin-ryu karate, general aviation, Irish music, Apple computers, and progressive politics. My kids do their best to ensure that I have little time to pursue these hobbies.
I think it's the "progressive politics" that hooked me, along with a healthy respect for an excellent wonk.

Anyway, take a look at two of his latest posts if you are just now starting to give this whole crisis stuff a thought.  Shadowfax is a good place to start, and then to continue, and then to hone your critical thinking skills -- you may have to jump around the blog a bit but that's no waste of time, either.

Here's one:

So this is great news and a great day. My quick reactions: 
First of all, CNN & FOX. Once again proving that being first is a higher priority than being right. How embarrassing. At least their soon-to-be-fired producers will be able to get health care coverage. 
Second, Roberts: I have to give him a little credit. I fully anticipated him to be a partisan hack and invalidate the law. Perhaps the burden of history weighed heavily on him, perhaps the delegitimization of the court influenced him, or perhaps the sheer radicalism of Scalia's dissent drove him to uphold the law. Regardless, he got it right. Make no mistake, though, he did what he could to advance his long-term agenda by slowly restricting the reach of the commerce clause. 
While most of the focus centered on the the Heritage-Foundation-developed mandate (aka the greatest threat to liberty ever), it's important to note that the 4 conservatives wanted to invalidate the entire law, and there is far, far more than the mandate in Obamacare. 12 million Americans will get rebates from their insurers this year based on the ACA's insurance regulations. Rescissions of policies is now prohibited. In a couple of years, pre-existing conditions will be covered under the guaranteed issue provisions, and the moribund individual market will be resuscitated by the insurance exchanges. All of these huge reforms survived and will transform healthcare in a good way. 
The mandate itself may work, or people may prefer to pay the "tax" penalty and go without insurance. We will see. If enough people opt out and insurers are experiencing serious adverse selection in a few years, perhaps the partisan rhetoric will have died down enough that Congress can tweak the incentives at bit. One can hope, anyway.  [READ THE REST HERE]

And here's the other:

From a contributor at the Daily Dish: 
This. This is exactly the right approach.
I do not understand why Democrats don't embrace the newly defined "tax", saying: you bet we raised taxes, but not on the hard-working, responsible middle class. This is a tax on those deadbeats who don't pay for their own insurance but still expect care when they show up at emergency rooms. It's a tax, all right, and I think we should agree to raise it even higher so they have more of an incentive to buy their own damned insurance and leave the rest of us alone. Let the Republicans protect the rights of deadbeats; Democrats are fighting for people who play by the rules.  [READ THE REST HERE]

As I said, peruse the dood's writings on health care policy, they're instructive, they're even-handed, I agree with them, and so, they are right.  [Hey, I've had a rough day!]  A big "thanks" to Shadowfax for sharing his inside info and his insightful analysis, too, on this... schtuff.

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