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Affordable and Reliable Service

June 6 2006 at 12:17 AM
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David  (Login Anderson12)

Private insurers compete not by offering better healthcare, but by avoiding high-risk individuals, limiting services for those they do cover, and, whenever possible, shifting costs to other payers or to individuals in the form of high deductibles and copayments. It's a chaotic and fragmented system that requires a mountain of paperwork, which is one reason premiums are so high.

If this system is left essentially intact, as it is under the new plan, expanding coverage will inevitably increase costs. That is common sense: Coverage and costs have to move in tandem if the system stays the same. Furthermore, the plan does nothing to keep costs from growing. For years, premiums have been rising much faster than the consumer price index. At current rates, even if the state were able to cover its proposed contributions to the plan at launch, it wouldn't be able to keep up with soaring prices.

The only answer is to change the system entirely, so that we can expand coverage while controlling , ''The old single-payer canard is gone." No, it isn't. Sooner or later, that is exactly what we'll need if we're really serious about healthcare.

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