Thursday, March 25, 2010

Who's Not Watching Your Back?


The aftermath of the health care reform battle finds a progressive blogger and health care expert teaming up. The Center for American Progress' Matt Yglesias joined hands with Maggie Mahar of Health Beat to extol the benefits of reform.

Matt cheer lead through the contentious battle, waving poms poms for the Blue Team. The tissue paper hid a shiv, which he repeatedly stuck in the gut of high profile Red members. After pronouncing Nancy Pelosi the greatest Speaker ever and Obama the greatest President in history, Matt described the bill's provisions:


almost comically delayed implementation

phased in incredibly slowly (with no Biden f bomb)

a blunder
Matt didn't suddenly wake up post bill signing. The Senate moved implementation of major coverage expansion from 2013 to 2014. The House didn't change it under Reconciliation. CBO projected 6 million Americans will go off Medicaid & CHIP between 2011 and 2013. The bleeding of employer sponsored health insurance is clear from a look at 2008 Census data and the 2010 CBO estimation:


176 million Census 2008

150 million CBO Reconciliation

That's a drop of 26 million from workplace coverage. But the shift continues under health reform. Who might be concerned about that? The Century Foundation lists as an interest:


persistent economic inequality combined with the shift to American households of financial risks previously borne by employers and government.

The Century Foundation sponsors Maggie Mahar's Health Beat blog. Here's her take on employer coverage:


I also would like to see employers out of the loop. But as I have noted before, "better paid" workers are more likely to have employer-based insurance, and their employers typically pay between 70% and 100% of the premium. These employees do not want to give that up. So I don't think we can dismantle employer-based insurance all at once--but we can begin taxing at as income, at least above certain levels--and if we do that, more employers are likely to drop out of the insurance business. . .

Which is clearly the intent of the plan. Delayed implementation and a seismic shift to the individual and a tapped out Uncle Sam. That leaves who to pay? When groups claiming to have your back, don't, you're truly on your own.

Matt is a mouthpiece for Blue power player John Podesta, head of CAP. Podesta is on the board of The Century Foundation, Maggie's sponsor.

CAP Senior Fellow Jeanne Lambrew had 35 visits to the White House. Thirteen were with Nancy-Ann DeParle. Tom Daschle, another CAP Senior Fellow, had a large imprint on health reform. Podesta's people helped design the bill with all its "features."

With health care done, retirement might be next. Which progressives will sell you down the road?

At least the lobbying Podesta family had a banner year financially. How about you?


10-29-10 update:  Yglesias cited PPACA's "exquisitely slow" phase-in pace, as a problem for Democrats in the midterm elections.

Update 8- 24-11:  More large employers plan to drop their health insurance benefit come 2014.  I theorized long ago:  It's the plan, not a feature.

Update 11-15-15:  PPACA turned health plans into unusable products as people don't have the cash to pay the high deductibles before insurance actually kicks in.  Who pays for a product they can't use?

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