"Affordable" Health Care - or Insurance - in MA
Basically, people in the second fifth (from the bottom) in income get hammered the hardest by their medical bills. And as he observes:
If this is the standard that is being used for the current healthcare reform legislation, this is both a policy and political disaster in the making. Atrios always points out, people have to like this shit. As I noted two years ago, forcing people to purchase healthcare plans which do not provide them the healthcare they need (which is what the above figures indicate) is not popular--nor should it be (does that even need to be written?).
Sadly, it looks like the Senate bill (and that's what will pass) is very similar to the MA bill. This is a program that will rightly be perceived as helping the poor at the expense of the lower-middle and middle class (the upper-middle and upper class can take care of themselves). It plays directly into the hands of Republicans, and it does so because Democrats were too concerned with the shibboleth of cost reduction* to pass a plan that would be broadly popular.
This is not affordable, at least as the term is used by decent human beings.
*I would argue the primary healthcare goal over the next five to ten years should be to ensure that everyone gets the healthcare they need, regardless of income, not deficit reduction. Of course, the more universal proposals actually would reduce costs more than the Senate monstrosity. Even if that weren't the case, deficit reduction should not be the first priority, given the suffering and death a crappy healthcare system causes.
Amen to that last part. Amen.
I'm also appalled by this, which seems to play right into the hands of union-haters. Why any Union member should support wuch a deal that screws over non-unionized people, I can't imagine. I'm waiting with baited breath to see what my own Union has to say about it.