Health Care Finance Professionals Don’t Agree with Bush

Tonight ought to be interesting on domestic policy. Kerry needs to “close”, and President Bush will really need to keep misrepresenting Kerry’s policies since he has little new to tell us about his own. But misrepresentations get fact-checked quickly, and opposed nearly immediately. Health care is a case in point.

President Bush’s claim that Kerry’s health care proposal is socialized medicine are bogus. In case we couldn’t tell that for ourselves, however, leading health care finance and management professionals have circulated a letter saying:

We have reviewed the health care finance proposals put forward by Senator John Kerry. Their primary thrust is to make the federal government a reinsurer when a single insured individual incurs health care costs greater than $50,000 in the course of any one year.

Because high-cost individuals account for a large proportion of the total cost of health insurance, this reinsurance is intended to make private health insurance more affordable for both employers and individuals and thus reduce the number of uninsured individuals and families. This approach is fully consistent with maintaining a health care finance system largely run by private insurance, private employers, and private medical providers.

Although Senator Kerry’s proposals should be subject to a full analysis of their cost and impact, any claim that they amount to “government run health care” or a “government takeover” of the health care system or of health care decision-making is simply inconsistent with the facts. We are not aware of any expert in health care or health care finance, whatever his or her political orientation, who believes otherwise.

At current count, 74 professionals have signed the statement.

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