Episode 62 – Ending the Health Insurance Monopoly

In what might be the most lively and engaging episode of PoliTalk, Jeff and Glenn debate the merits of a tax on generous so-called “Cadillac” health insurance plans. Glenn takes on the insurance companies in explaining why their anti-trust exemption needs to be removed, and Jeff argues for the merits of the health care legislation in Congress, but against health care “reform.”  Always entertaining and informative, it’s PoliTalk, your weekly political podcast.

From all of us here at PoliTalk, we wish you a very happy holiday season. PoliTalk will return with new episodes in January of 2010.

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One response to “Episode 62 – Ending the Health Insurance Monopoly

  1. I’m curious on what everyone’s take on the idea that health care costs don’t have a chance of being contained regardless of regulation while we are effectively subsidizing the sugar in food via corn / high fructose corn syrup.

    In the case of subsidizing corn, I suggest this is reflective of Thomas Friedman’s argument of privatizing profits (to corn farmers) while socializing losses (through health care costs). But instead of talking about banks and default swaps and investment banking bail outs were talking about people’s health.

    So, beyond cutting or modifying our food subsidy scheme shouldn’t unhealthy foods be taxed like Cigarettes to help fund healthcare costs?

    Unhealthy food has hidden health costs that are not being addressed at the time of purchase so the market is not functioning correctly on a cost to benefit ratio. And regardless of the health care bill being passed, undressed obesity costs will still bankrupt our health care system.

    Jeff,

    I’m interested to hear you support the tax on Cadillac plans as opposed to the house’s proposal.

    What is your take on the argument that due to the health care tax loophole a large proportion of raises have been in benefits such as through unions. So the Cadillac plan tax will be hitting people who’s salaries are relatively modest. In such is it then possible that the unions will cut these plans and the health care bill may then fall short on funding?

    It seems to me that there needs to be some combination of both plans with a strategy to adjust the ratios depending on real world revenue generation.

    All that said, I really don’t have a problem funneling more money to health care. It is actually an industry that everyone can and does benefit from however, more money needs to be put into research and innovation rather than being wasted on overhead and unnecessary procedures.

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