alien & sedition.
Monday, January 22, 2007
  Bush Keeping the Insurance Industry Happy

President Bush's proposal for a health insurance tax deduction could cost millions of Americans their employer-based health coverage. Luckily, as the AP reports, it's going nowhere.

But it does represent a dangerous direction in the health care debate: away from a truly progressive policy and straight into the grasping arms of the insurance industry:
[I]nsurers like the president's focus on health care going into the year.

"With the president coming forward and making health care such a major issue on his priority list, I think progress is definitely possible," [Insurance industry representative Karen] Ignagni said. "We're going to see views and positions from all sides. We see that as a very promising thing. More and more people will come to the view that we've reached a tipping point."

Update: Ezra Klein's take on this is completely different. He sees the Bush plan as a small - but at least positive - step toward uncoupling health insurance from work. I absolutely agree with that as a larger goal, but I'm concerned that this kind of incrementalism - limiting deductions on employer-based care without addressing the need for systematic and affordable coverage - could cause a lot of people to lose care they need now. If this is a "tentative first step" towards real reform, great - but how many people will lose their affordable insurance before we step forward far enough?

Update #2: Ezra says, "I was wrong." So never mind. We all agree it sucks.

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Insurance rate is a factor used to determine the amount, called the premium, to be charged for a certain amount of insurance coverage. Risk management, the practice of appraising and controlling risk, has evolved as a discrete field of study and practice.
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