Kevin Drum predicts the future:
The current bills pretty clearly move us along the path toward a Swiss system — not my first choice for a model to follow, but certainly better than what we have now — and I don't think that the existence of Medicare as a separate part of that really stands in the way. A single comprehensive system for all would probably be better and more efficient, but it's hardly an absolute precondition. My own guess is that a decade or two from now, we'll basically have Medicare for the elderly and the Swiss system for everyone else.
That sounds right to me. If conservatives were really as high on the Swiss (and Dutch!) systems as they occasionally claim, however, they would have done more to embrace Wyden-Bennett, which folded Medicaid into the private, Nordic-style system. That seemed a pretty good trade for supporters of private insurance, but it wasn't one they ended up championing.
November 17, 2009; 12:50 PM ET
Categories: Health of Nations
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