Monday, August 24, 2009

Health Care Reform Made Simple

Nobody asked me, but I came up with a brilliant solution for the health-care problem. Here goes:

Push the enrollment age for Medicare down to 60.

This is all kinds of brilliant, as far as I can tell. For one thing, any change will need to happen slowly, both to give people time to get used to the change, and to minimize negative economic impact. This is a tiny step. It also dodges pretty much all of the non-substantive arguments against health care reform, the ones bandied about on talk radio. It's an existing program, and it hasn't been self-funded for years anyway. And it won't require creating any new bureaucracy.

It'll also keep insurance for the under-60 crowd cheaper. Following the theory that older=sicker (in a broad actuarial sense), cutting these older people from the regular insurance rolls will help drive down costs for everyone. And, it's an easy solution -- no five-hundred-page legal tomes are required to explain this plan. There could be no questions about how or whether the program will work; it already does.

As a side note, it'd be nice if Medicare could bargain with drug companies for lower drug prices. But that's a question for another time....

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