How Jon and Kate Could Kill Health Reform
Liza Mundy had an op-ed over the weekend arguing that Jon and Kate's marriage could have been saved if their health insurance had covered in vitro fertilization, which carries a lower risk of multiple births. Jon and Kate "Plus 3," she says, might have had a better shot at happiness.
Maybe. But putting Jon and Kate aside, Mundy is getting to something that's really going to bedevil health reform as it nears the finish line: the aggressive jockeying for the government to mandate that every legitimate, and some illegitimate, treatments are covered in the minimum benefit package. Does acupuncture get the nod? Oxygen treatments? Lumbar surgeries?
This is why some reformers -- Max Baucus among them -- have advocated the formation of an expert-staffed Federal Health Board that would be empowered by the legislature to make these decisions. It's a smart attempt to solve a tough collective action problem. If some members of Congress are going to demand that their hometown device manufacturer gets taken care of in return for their vote, then all members will have the incentive to do the same. The only way to block that scenario -- a scenario in which the final bill becomes groaningly expensive and unwieldy -- is for all members of Congress to give up their right to that sort of benefit micromanaging and instead vest that power in the hands of a semi-independent agency.
Photo credit: AP Photo/TLC, Mark Arbeit.
Posted by: JimPortlandOR | June 29, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: LindaB1 | June 29, 2009 11:09 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: exgovgirl | June 29, 2009 11:15 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: Dellis2 | June 29, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: staticvars | June 30, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: visionbrkr | July 1, 2009 11:30 AM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.