Richardson’s “Universal Health Coverage” is More of the Same

Governor Richardson claims to be a “market Democrat,” but the “universal” health care proposal that his campaign announced today can only be called a disappointment to believers in the free market.
Details of his plan are as follows:

* Coverage – Guaranteed Coverage for All Americans with Real Choices: Bill Richardson believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to providing affordable health coverage for all Americans.Nor does he believe in creating new bureaucracies. Under a Richardson administration all Americans will have affordable coverage choices through 1) the same plan as members of Congress; 2) Medicare for those 55-64; 3) Medicaid and SCHIP for lower income families; 4) existing family coverage for young adults up to age 25; and 5) a Heroes Health Card and stronger Veterans Administration for veterans;
* Costs – Making Health Care Affordable for All: Bill Richardson believes that everyone must share responsibility for making the system work. He believes that 1) All Americans should be required to have coverage; 2) Employers should be required to do their fair share to contribute to a healthy and covered work force; 3) A sliding-scale tax credit should be available for Americans who need help affording coverage; 4) American families should get immediate relief from high interest rates for medical debt placed on credit cards. As President, Richardson will save the government up to $110 billion per year to invest in quality, affordable health coverage for all Americans, by streamlining health care administration and investing in prevention;
* Care – Improving Quality of Care for All Americans: Bill Richardson believes that all Americans deserve access to affordable, high-quality health care. Richardson will work to improve quality of care for all Americans by: 1) Promoting evidence-based care and comparative effectiveness research; 2) Promoting transparency on price and quality of health care; 3) Restructuring incentives for high-quality care; 4) Improving patient safety; 5) Ensuring an adequate health care workforce; and 6) Reducing health disparities.

For starters, Richardson may not believe in “creating new bureaucracies,” but that doesn’t mean he won’t dramatically-expand the current, broken bureaucracies. Medicaid, Medicare, SCHIP, and the Veterans Administration all face significant issues. I hardly think that expanding these programs/agencies is the answer to our health care problems.
Of course, Richardson is not the only Democrat heading down the misguided path to “universal coverage.” The problem is that so-called universal coverage is likely to be a disaster no matter which party ultimately passes it.

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One Reply to “Richardson’s “Universal Health Coverage” is More of the Same”

  1. What about those who don’t want health care? Such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Or those who simply don’t want it for any reason?

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