It’s Zeke vs Me

In the Wall Street Journal. In recognition of ObamaCare’s 4th anniversary. Guess which one of us lacks a sense of humor?

I write:

money-burdenFor the past 40 years real, per capita health-care spending has been growing at twice the rate of growth of real, per capita income. That’s not only true in this country; it is about the average for the whole developed world.

Clearly, this trend cannot go on forever. So what does ObamaCare do about that? It limits the government’s share of the costs while doing nothing to protect individuals or their employers.

The law restricts the growth of total Medicare spending, the growth of Medicaid hospital spending and (after 2018) the growth of federal tax subsidies in the health-insurance exchanges to no more than the rate of growth of real GDP per capita plus about one half of 1%. This means that as health-care costs become more and more of a burden for the average family, people will get less and less help from government — to pay for insurance the government requires them to buy!

Zeke Emanuel with a somewhat different point of view.

Comments (16)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Perry says:

    You have to admit, Zeke sure makes it sound good. But we know better, don’t we?

  2. Dennis Byron says:

    So I assume you lack a sense of humor (at least on this issue) because his article begins:

    “When things go well, I worry about what can go wrong. The fourth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act is upon us and things are actually going well.”

    He’s hilarious

  3. Thomas says:

    Emanuel’s opinion piece makes a compelling argument to the successes of ObamaCare, but for all of the successes, there are as many failures. Not to mention maybe a couple asterisks next to the successes.

  4. James M. says:

    “Every provision in ObamaCare that encourages employers either not to hire people or to reduce their hours should go.”

    Agreed. There should not be incentives for people not to work under ObamaCare. Lower employment does not encourage economic growth.

  5. Matthew says:

    “This means they must overcharge the healthy and undercharge the sick.”

    Under this, the healthy are the “losers” and the sick are the “winners.” However, there is a way for all to be winners.

  6. Bill B. says:

    “If complacency sets in there is the possibility that the uninsured rate and health-care inflation can come roaring back, and the country could revert to the complex, inefficient, expensive system we had before we passed reform.”

    You mean that hasn’t already happened?

  7. Lucas D says:

    The problem when these newspapers publish these counter opinions is that readers end up as they started, not knowing what is going on. Obviously Emanuel is going to defend the program, he came up with it. He is going to highlight the positive aspects and refute any counter arguments claiming that those who are stating them are ignorant. He is not going to accept any criticism. Dr. Goodman compels a strong argument, but The Wall Street Journal undermines his opinion (he is referred as Mr. Goodman instead of Dr. Goodman, and his credential are not stated, as they are stated for Dr. Emanuel). Ignoring the content, Dr. Emanuel has an advantage, not only because of his stated credentials, but because defending is always much easier than attacking. Dr. Goodman has a better argument, but he has an uphill challenge to convince others.

  8. JFA says:

    John, I am a little confused as to how reducing the rate of growth of government expenditure on health care is a bad thing. If this increases the amount that patients pay out of pocket, should this not induce greater price sensitivity and more actual price competition? Presumably, this is the aspect of the ACA that will have the greatest impact on the healthcare system (if in fact it is not overturned later when AARP complains to Congress about how the younger generation is not subsidizing retirees enough). It may be that the ACA destroys the health insurance system as we know it, which may actually increase the chances of your vision of the health insurance system being implemented (which I think, for the most part, would be a good thing).

  9. John R. Graham says:

    One of Dr. Emanuel’s selling points is the well-known Obamacare provision that “children” up to age 26 can stay on their parents’ policies. He claims 3.1 million of these “children” have done so.

    Imagine how ridiculous this would sound in any other context. For example: “We passed a law allowing children to stay at their parents’ house until they are 26.” Or: We passed a law allowing children to drive Mom’s or Dad’s car until they turn 26.”

    It goes to show how politicians are committed to addressing the symptoms and not the causes of our health-insurance problems.

    • Peter A says:

      It shows that they are desperate for delivering results. They want to be able to show that they met the targets during the limit and that they are making it better for young individuals (haven’t you notice that all the ads lately are young adults telling that they are covered?). The administration and its supporters will do anything they can in order to demonstrate success, even skew the statistics. Their program is so flawed that they have to lie to the American population in order to get followers.

    • Dennis Byron says:

      I don’t think you meant it this way but others might be confused by this rule. The 20-something “adult” that stays on the parent’s plan does not have to live at home. In addition the “adult” can stay on the parents plan even though he or she is married and even though he or she has a job that offers him or her separate insurance.

      What I don’t understand is whether all this even adds any money to the pool, the supposed reason the bureaucrats are so concerned about covering young adults. (I assume it does if the parent covers the adult child by moving from a single-person or couples plan to a family plan.)

  10. Linda Gorman says:

    I learned at least one new thing from Mr. Emmanuel’s article.

    Apparently Gallup polls are the standard that we use to measure the number of uninsured. I guess any port in a storm and that one uses what one must in order to declare victory when coverage at any cost becomes the overriding policy goal.

    Never mind whether actual people suffering from actual disease or medical problems can get actual medical care at a reasonable cost.