federal reform


BU Economist Proposes ‘Purple Health Plan’

The first I heard about “The Purple Health Plan” was a negative reaction this morning on The Incidental Economist” a blog on health care reform and research:

A colleague at Boston University has unveiled a “purple” health plan, with 5 Nobel Laureate in Economics amongst the endorsers. Maybe I’m color blind, but I just don’t see the blue in this plan.

Hmm, I thought, whatever the specifics, it’s a great title. I get it, that it’s meant to appeal to both the red and the blue side of the aisle! And it already has a long stringer of endorsers on its Website, thepurplehealthplan.org. Wonder if it will go anywhere? It sounds a lot like the summary of Prof. Laurence J. Kotlikoff’s 2007 book, “The Healthcare Fix.”

In an introductory letter, Prof. Kotlikoff writes that health care is in a crisis that current federal reforms do not solve.

Economists and other concerned citizens can play a pivotal role in providing our political leaders with a set of principles to guide fundamental healthcare reform as well as a specific plan to fix our healthcare system from the ground up.

The plan? It’s here, including a set of guiding principles and a concrete plan, to wit:

The Standard Plan

All Americans receive a voucher each year to purchase a standard plan from the private-plan provider of their choice.

Vouchers are individually risk-adjusted; those with higher expected healthcare costs, based on documented medical conditions, receive larger vouchers.

Participating insurance companies providing standard plans cannot deny coverage.

Each year a panel of doctors sets the coverages of the standard plan subject to a strict budget, namely that the total cost to the government of the vouchers cannot exceed 10 percent of GDP.
Insurance companies providing standard plans contract with private providers to cover their plan participants. Continue reading

Commentary: ‘Thanks, Mr. Speaker, For Sending My Daughter’s Insurance Bill Back To Taxpayers!’

Freelance writer Robin Rouse

NPR’S Julie Rovner reports that the House Republicans on Capitol Hill have launched a series of hearings aimed at giving federal health care reform the comeuppance they think it deserves. And today, Senate Democrats begin holding their own health law hearings.

Local freelance writer Robin Rouse can’t make it to testify, but she’s happy to share this tongue-in-cheek public letter to House Republicans:

Dear Speaker Boehner, and other members of the House of Representatives who voted to repeal the health care reform bill,

I just wanted to say thank you. By repealing the health care reform bill, you are effectively signing up the taxpayers of the United States to foot the bill for my daughter’s health care cost. You’ve taken that responsibility away from me and my employer and landed it right back onto the shoulders of hardworking Americans. What a relief! Continue reading