I am a firm believer in the Heritage Uncertainty Principle of True Conservative Healthcare Reform Plans:
Conservative health-care-policy ideas reside in an uncertain state of quasi-existence. You can describe the policies in the abstract, sometimes even in detail, but any attempt to reproduce them in physical form will cause such proposals to disappear instantly. It’s not so much an issue of “hypocrisy,” as Klein frames it, as a deeper metaphysical question of whether conservative health-care policies actually exist.
The question should be posed to better-trained philosophical minds than my own. I would posit that conservative health-care policies do not exist in any real form. Call it the “Heritage Uncertainty Principle.”
P-Care was a recent iteration of such a principle as the primary financing mechanism was immediately clawed back as soon as liberal wonks started asking obvious questions (why yes, it would be a massive tax hike on middle class Americans AND massively disruptive to the market).
The most recent iteration of conservative “health insurance reform” proposals is from Always Wrong Kristol et al. The diagnosis of the problem is simple — Americans, or at least non-rich Americans, have it too easy and risk is too insulated. We must suffer more. And TAX CREDITS:
We propose providing a refundable health insurance tax credit of $1,200 for those under 35 years of age, $2,100 for those between 35 and 50 years of age, and $3,000 for those over 50, in addition to $900 per child. These tax credits would be made available to those, and only to those, who purchase health insurance through the individual market.
An 18 year old male can get half decent coverage for $100 a month. A 35 year old male can’t. Not unless you define decent coverage as a $15,000 or $20,000 deductible, exclusion of mental health coverage, exclusion of pre-exisiting conditions for at least a year and no preventative care benefits. An 18 year old woman for $100 a month will see a $10,000 deductible, no birth control, and no maternity care coverage. A 35 year old woman with no problems will be lucky to get a $25,000 deductible and significant exclusions.
And god help you if you can’t maintain continuous coverage and have a pre-exisiting condition. Any insurance company that can underwrite will laugh at $1,200 a year.
There is plenty of evidence that very high deductible plans will reduce health care expenditures. There is also a lot of evidence that people aren’t perfect consumers and the high deductible plans increase health risk. People can die because of this plan design.
But hey, it at least looks like an apparition of a plan