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Healthcare on the Car Insurance Model: Senator Baucus’s Plan

Enough, enough, enough. Seriously, I’m reading the Baucus plan (more on that later) and I read this line, and about puked:

While there must be a uniquely American answer to the question of containing health care costs, other countries demonstrate the possibility of success.

Enough. Stop reinventing the wheel and do what works. There are a pile of different models out there, all of which work. The simple fact is that if you want the best results combined with the best cost, they are all single payer, usually allowing top-up insurance of some kind. The only partial exception is Switzerland, in which health insurance companies aren’t allowed to make a profit on basic insurance and are required to offer the same basic plan as their competitors (at which point, why bother?) About the only choice Swiss get is in how much their deductible will be.

The Baucus plan is the government forcing people to pay private companies for insurance. It is, in other words, health insurance on the car insurance model. Are you happy with your car insurance?

No? Then why would anyone support Baucus’s plan over a simple single payor insurance plan modeled on a country whose plan has better results than the US and costs less? Or cut the BS and just enroll everyone in Medicare, there’s your "American solution for an American problem" for you. Especially since Baucus’s own figures show that slightly more Americans actually support Medicare for all than support individual mandates.(pdf/pg.17)

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Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh

Ian Welsh was the Managing Editor of FireDogLake and the Agonist. His work has also appeared at Huffington Post, Alternet, and Truthout, as well as the now defunct Blogging of the President (BOPNews). In Canada his work has appeared in and BlogsCanada. He is also a social media strategy consultant and currently lives in Toronto.

His homeblog is at