Healthcare Again: The Box and Balloon Analogy

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Krugman has a good piece on the struggles that Trump and Paul Ryan are having passing health care: The Balloon, the Box and Health Care. They want to let air out of the balloon of federal money spent on healthcare.

The fact is their objective is to reduce federal spending on healthcare and pass the costs onto the states. This will reduce federal spending and accommodate giving the rich a big tax cut. This has obvious distributional effects, a problem that is already serious in the US.

Passing the costs onto states has another another problem. States with a large tax basis may be able, and willing, to cover the additional costs. Poorer states will likely not and many people in poorer states will lose healthcare! This goes beyond exacerbating income distribution. It is inhumane.

The latest proposal to add $8 billion over five years to cover high-risk pools in states is an attempt to provide cover for Representatives scared to vote for the bill. Further the $8 billion is entirely not adequate to cove the cost of the pools. It is like pissing in the Ocean.

Healthcare is not an insurance issue. It is a problem of making sure that people have health services when they need the services. It is not an issue of your wealth or how old or young you are. Provision of health services should not discriminate.

The Trump / Ryan  approach is a policy of screw the poor and help the rich. It is a discriminatory policy.