Monday, July 31, 2017

More on Health Insurance Policy

Last month I suggested checking out Avik Roy, a right-wing health insurance wonk who, unlike many on the right, genuinely wants poor people to be well-covered. I was intrigued to see that he was happy with at least one version of the Republicans' recent proposals.

Again, I don't understand this stuff. But I refuse to rotely mimic the certainties and piques of my chosen pundits and tribal leaders. I don't want to become a health policy expert, but I'll gladly spend an hour listening to a sincere, non-shmucky, well-informed voice on the right explain a different approach from the ACA.

(I've been on ACA for a few years, and 1. it's far less flexible than private insurance, but 2. a fine last resort for those who can't afford private. It's an apt safety net but a poor catch-all)

So check out this very interesting debate between sincere right-wing wonk Roy and sincere left-wing wonk Ezra Klein. You won't come out of it expert (and it's ok to glaze over a bit when the discussion gets extra wonky...things get much easier to follow toward the ned), but it sheds considerable light on the whole matter. Very highly recommended.

Short version: Roy is naive (and way left of current Republicanism), while Klein has inflexible standards (though big programs like this always require iteration and tweaking). Roy loved the bill not as finished perfection, but as the best possible first step in the right direction, while Klein, paradoxically, mistrusts the system to deliver perfection...which is weirdly topsy-turvy.

Roy also explains why the common retort "But non-partisan CBO says....." shouldn't be the last word on these matters - even though busy, ignorant people like you and I just love a simple argument-closer.

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