Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

California wants change. California does not want change.

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Aug• 27•07

A recent press release from the California Speaks organization shows that California residents want change.  Eighty two percent of the 3,500 person conversation help August 11th believed that the health care system required change.  How should the system be changed?  Well, that’s another story.  Only 16% of individuals support a single payer system under any conditions, and only 5% of participants said they would support an employer mandate under any conditions.

What happens when we add caveats?

 “Fifty-three percent of participants said that part-time, seasonal and other non-traditional workers must be included in order for them to support a mandate on employers to provide health coverage to their employees, also known as “pay or play.” Other conditions for supporting an employer mandate included provisions to prevent employers from reducing coverage or benefits (49%), caps on rising costs (48%), and protections for small businesses (45%)… Conditions for supporting a single-payer health care system included controlling costs and bureaucracy (55%), maintaining choice for providers (53%), and ensuring quality of care regardless of geography or income (51%).”

So it seems that people are supportive of employer mandates or single payer systems if they can cap costs, while not reducing benefits, coverage or quality.  I would support any system that limits costs, covers everyone, and ensures generous benefits and quality.  Unfortunately, in this life, there’s no such thing as a free lunch.  Thus, these responses should not be taken too seriously, since it has not been shown whether single-payer systems or employer mandates can actually reduce cost, increase coverage, and increase quality.

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  1. Cbetley says:

    By assuming that health care access and quality are currently being produced by the health care system in some bundle of minimal costs, you pose a false tradeoff.

    By many measures, across all of these dimensions, the US health care system is functioning well below its production possibilities frontier.

    The question is, which policy choice among single payer, employer mandates, continuing the current system, or some as yet unvisioned alternative would bring the US further towards optimum health care production?