Monday, October 24th, 2016

Wigderson and his critics, the healthcare edition


Over at Blogging Blue, Steve Carlton has a complaint about my Waukesha Freeman column on the state health care debate.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it costs the federal government $3,000.00 more per recipient to subsidize a private plan than have someone on a public plan like Badgercare, $9,000.00 versus $6,000.00. Walker’s plan costs taxpayers 50% more federal tax dollars per person.

Wigderson supports the refusal of federal money so that more federal money can be spent. Gotcha, James! Free federal money not affordable. A terrific moment of irony.

Carlton is raising a point that was a talking point by Robert Kraig, executive director of the leftwing Wisconsin Citizen Action, and Ron Pollack of the leftwing Families USA. But it appears Carlton missed that I addressed the very point he raises in my column for the MacIver Institute.

It’s also interesting how Kraig and Pollack are concerned about the affordability of the subsidized insurance policies in the federal health care exchanges. They claim expanding Medicaid eligibility will cost $6000 per recipient compared to the federal cost of $9000 per recipient of the health care exchange subsidies.

Perhaps they should be addressing their concerns about the exchanges to the Obama Administration. After all, part of the reason why Medicaid is cheaper is because of the lower reimbursement rates for medical providers, which also prevents many medical providers from accepting Medicaid patients. But another reason is the mandated coverage levels that add to the insurance premium costs.

If you lower the mandated coverage levels, the cost will go down. The alternative is cost controls, which results in a shortage of providers such as what Medicaid is experiencing. It’s simple economics, and I’m sure Carlton already knew the answer before he raised the question.

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