Thursday, October 7, 2010

Health Care Reality Check for Morgan Philpot

Via (again!) Ezra Klein:

Here's the play: Someone somewhere reports that the Affordable Care Act will require some change in the status quo. Maybe it's that insurers can no longer discriminate against sick children, and so some of them are pulling products that were only financially viable so long as they could discriminate against sick children. Maybe it's that McDonald's won't be able to offer miniature health-care "coverage" that caps annual benefits at $2,000, a form of insurance that wouldn't protect anyone from a real illness and that Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley once described as "not better than nothing." Maybe it's that 3M is changing its early-retiree health-care plans, for reasons that may or may not be related to the new health-care law. Opponents of the reforms jump on the story. "See!" they say. "This is a catastrophe!" Supporters -- at least some of them -- e-mail me. "This needs a rebuttal, thanks."

But it doesn't need a rebuttal. It needs explanation, and that's what's usually lacking. And when they do explain the particular rule or regulation causing the disruption, the situation often looks very different. The McDonald's plans, for instance, shouldn't continue after 2014, though it looks like the administration is going to give them a waiver to escape the bad press. The point of health-care reform was to get people into real insurance and protect them from illusory plans that run out when they get sick.
Just a few hours spent on the #utpol hashtag, and you'll see some Utah con parlaying this same garbage Klein points to as empirical "proof" that ACA "is ruining the greatest health care system in the world." (Yeah, that guy is running for Congress.)

The health care debate from then to now has always been too driven by anecdotal "evidence," admittedly a lazy tactic employed by both proponents and supporters.  Once you inject more intelligence into the debate than the Utah Young Republicans twitter feed, you begin to understand the real objective of the reform, and the actual -- and beneficial -- challenges it brings to the status quo of our failing health care system.

It's laughable to see anyone defending the status quo, but an intelligent argument isn't the goal for Republicans at this point, if it (DEATH PANELS!) ever was. 

When Morgan Philpot speaks today, remember, it's the McDonald's health care plan -- which isn't much of a plan at all -- that he's defending.  When Shurtleff speaks afterward, remember he's a carpetbagger in search of a spotlight, always.  And when you hear these lazy attacks on the ACA, laugh.

The bill, with all of it's warts, is a start, and will never see a repeal.


  1. The bill should be repealed. The status quo isn't perfect but a better solution would be to stop the frivolous law suits and the huge awards for pain and suffering that are keeping the prices of both insurance and doctor visits at exhorbitant levels that nobody can afford. That would make sense and would be a real step forward. Obamacare will bankrupt the US and then nobody will have insurance or healthcare. Thats why it needs to be repealed. Then if you want to start over working on the problems our system faces then let's talk then. Philpot is right on the money!

  2. thanks for the thoughts anon, how exactly will obamacare bankrupt the us again? also even if it did, which it won't, but even if it did, how would that stop someone from buying insurance from a private insurance company? also that talking, it took place last year, republicans didn't want to play a part in it, what would make philpot any different?

  3. The Affordable Care Act, because it continues the shamefully wasteful health insurance business model and does nothing about the poor quality of our health system, will accelerate the bankrupting of the American economy. We were already on an unsustainable path in health system financing with health care costs eating up nearly 20% of the GDP before the 'affordable' care act passed, and evidence accumulated in the past 6 months indicates that our health care costs will accelerate as Obama-care is unfolded. Take a look at the evidence accumulating on this point, which has been documented on the Utah Health Initiative blog (find it here: And check out the UHI proposal for a Utah based comprehensive, sustainable health plan at the website:

  4. Joe, if you'd been a supporter of the public option (which would address each and every complaint you list above about ACA) I lend you some credibility.

    As you opposed that as well, you're comment above is ridiculous. Troll elsewhere.