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Ezra’s Pre-Game Show

February 25th, 2010 . by economistmom

Oh, boy!  Are you ready for a full day of health-reform summit viewing?  (Complete and live coverage will be on C-SPAN today, with extensive live coverage on CNN.)

Ezra Klein, the Washington Post’s uber-blogger and resident health policy expert (and all-around wunderkid), does a nice job summarizing what to expect from today’s bipartisan meeting of minds (…ok, probably just a meeting of bodies).

And here are some other pre-game features from this morning’s Post:

Friday morning update:  Ezra’s “post-game wrap-up” is great.  Visit his blog site and then scroll down for the whole day’s worth of posts–including a Skype chat with Diane Sawyer!  (More from me on the summit later.)

3 Responses to “Ezra’s Pre-Game Show”

  1. comment number 1 by: SteveinCH

    Got frustrated listening to this today so I made some slides (hey I’m a consultant, it’s what I do).

    Any thoughts welcome. Pages are at

    http://docs.google.com/present/edit?id=0AeHayfGDLeA4ZGNwZHBzY2pfMWNxNW5yOGRi&hl=en

  2. comment number 2 by: Brooks

    Steve,

    I enjoyed your slides. There’s something you may be missing, and which would lend itself to illustration via slides of that sort:

    If insurers are prohibited for denying coverage based on (or for) pre-existing conditions and prohibited for charging more for folks with pre-existing conditions (i.e., “guaranteed issue” and “community rating” even if the latter is adjustable by age), and if we also assume that waiting periods are fairly short, then the immediate effect will likely be a sharp, great decline in both supply (of insurance) and demand for (at least) the individual/small business segment, and both for the same reason: most people won’t buy health insurance (and will drop the insurance they have) if they know they can get if and when they expect their healthcare expenses to exceed the premium price, which, from the insurer’s perspective, means it’s almost impossible to turn a profit. So there cannot be those mandates on insurers without also the individual mandate to purchase health insurance.

  3. comment number 3 by: Brooks

    With discomfort at the thought of leaving millions (or perhaps tens of millions) in limbo regarding health insurance, I come down on the side of preferring that any large scale healthcare / health insurance “reform” be delayed until it can be considered in the appropriately comprehensive — and thus much more rational — context that the fiscal commissions (official and private) will be considering. Clearly it is more rational to decide whether or not to create a new entitlement costing tens of billions of dollars or more in light of the trade-offs that are necessitated by doing so, given our need to solve our long-term fiscal imbalance problem.

    So I’d like to see either nothing enacted this year or at most a relatively small commitment such as expanding Medicaid a bit or providing catastrophic (high deductible) coverage or voucher
    s for such coverage to a few million people. And the pre-existing condition thing (at least in the strong form that is discussed) is going to have to wait because, as explained in my comment above, forcing that upon insurers can’t work without an individual mandate, which in turn means huge subsidy costs.