Hillary's Health Care Plan

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Dr. Jeanne Lambrew, former senior health analyst at the National Economic Council under President Clinton, associate professor of Public Affairs at the University of Texas.


Dr. Jeanne Lambrew

Comments [26]

figa from Brooklyn

Hillary sounded like the voice on my HMO phone tree. I kept expecting her to say "Press * to hear the list of plans or # to return to the main menu."

Despite the cheerleading by Brian's guest, I don't see that Hillary's "plan" solves any of the problems we have with our current healthcare system. We'll still have the highest administrative costs in the world because of the huge variety of what will be equally expensive options, employers will still be competing globally against companies that enjoy an implicit subsidy from efficient national health care plans elsewhere, and, as with auto insurance, there will still be a lot of people roaming around without insurance, despite the mandate.

What will they do, put sick people in jail if they show up in critical condition without insurance? Will hospitals turn them away? Will they somehow try to fine these people, who are going to be the same broke peole without auto insurance?

Think about how many times you've been in an auto accident and run the numbers to see if it makes sense to report the problem or just pay for it yourself, even if it's not your fault, just for fear of having your premium go up? Remember that congress has repeatedly failed to pass a patient's bill of rights. Do you really think this will be affordable if you are required by law to buy it?

This is just payback for all the big insurers who have been pumping money like crazy into Hillary's campaign.

Sep. 19 2007 10:45 AM
Norman from New York

Nick said:

Posted by: Nick September 18, 2007 - 10:32AM

Maybe I missed it- what happens if you are unemployed under Hillary's plan? Are you then possibly uninsured?


I asked about that. If you have no income, you pay nothing.

Actually, I should have asked a more realistic question:

Suppose you made $10,000 in the last 12 months, and have $10,000 in the bank. In most or all states, you would have too much income and assets to be eligible for Medicaid. You'd have to spend down.

How much of a premium would you have to pay under Hillary's plan?

I expect the answer would be, we don't know yet.

Sep. 18 2007 11:57 AM
eric fluger from jersey city

any plan relying on firms competing for customers raises questions about what and how strong the incentives are for the firms to try to keep the customers business for the long term rather than just skimming off the cream.

avis has a motive to give me good service because they don't want me going to hertz in the future.

is a company insuring healthy twenty-somethings really all that eager to keep those customer's business until they are less healthy fifty-somethings? if not, what's the incentive to do a good job?

if a firm is not looking forward to keeping a customer long term, what's the incentive to invest in the kind of preverntive care that promotes long term health?

Sep. 18 2007 10:43 AM
******* ***** from San Francisco

"I wuv your show".

C'mon Brian. You know the only reason they're pushing "universal health care" is to spare the corporations the expense of providing it. And the governments won't have to keep paying out for it to retirees (and current employees). Instead, all taxpaying suckers will have to fork up.

Best to you.

Sep. 18 2007 10:37 AM
Jennifer from Brooklyn, NY

From Sicko: "If you can find the money to kill people, you can find the money to help people."

Sep. 18 2007 10:36 AM
Tim from Brooklyn

For anyone who missed the Marketplace piece on it, here it is:

One things that annoys me about this plan is, if I am not mistaken, it doesn't take healthcare out of the marketplace. So our care will still be more susceptible to market pressures. That is what Social Security and our health care should be protected from, so that we all can be covered. In any case, if we can afford to go to war in Iraq and invest in new military equipment that many professionals claim is unneeded, I can't see why we can't be universally insured.

Sep. 18 2007 10:34 AM
Bonnie from New Jersey

What about the doctors who don't accept insurance?

Also,so many people, businesses, and doctors/hospitals are not happy with how the health insurance system works.

Why aren't groups that represent them, loudly complaining to media, health associations, government officials?

Sep. 18 2007 10:33 AM
Jonathan Sanders from New York, NY


The budget for John Edwards healthcare plan is 120 billion dollars? Considering there are 300,000,000 americans that's $400 per person. And that's not even a national healthcare plan. Where's the scale?

How can it be so expensive?


Sep. 18 2007 10:33 AM
Barbara from Brooklyn

Clinton's plan will cover a large group of people who are not covered by normal employee-based insurance plans -- freelance workers. There are thousands of people in this country who now work as freelancers, either because they lost their jobs, or because they can't find employment, or because they prefer it. Their income is not low enough for most state/federal plans, and they are not covered by employee plans -- as a result, most politicians' plans don't apply.

Sep. 18 2007 10:32 AM
Neal from Port Washington

The part of this problem that is not being addressed is the inflated medical costs for the uninsured. For instance a lab cost for uninsured can be over $1000. For the insured this gets discounted to $200 of which a percentage is covered. If the cost was $200 for everyone maybe the amount of coverage would not need to be the same. Many could have higher deducibles as long as they could pay this discounted amount.


Sep. 18 2007 10:32 AM
Nick from Austin

Maybe I missed it- what happens if you are unemployed under Hillary's plan? Are you then possibly uninsured?

Sep. 18 2007 10:32 AM
judy hartmann from Pittsford, NY

Regarding the woman who said she would have to pay 50,000 for a new insurance policy: I wonder if she has looked at Healthy New York which is quite a reasonably priced plan. I know there are strict wage restrictions, but if you fit, it's a good plan.

Also, you can take out a dba and look at getting your plan through a Chamber of Commerce. There are also other organizations with whom you can piggyback your health care costs.

We own a small business in upsate New York and offer coverage through BLBS. We also had to stop covering families and move to covering the individual only with the employee picking up the difference. The fee for a family with one of the managed care programs offered by BCBS is $849.00 per month here.

Sep. 18 2007 10:29 AM
Ana Sandoval from Summit, NJ

I am an engineer with acceptable health insurance paid mostly by my employer: wouldn't this system encourage employers to "dump" their employees into the universal plan to cut their own costs? How would this be avoided?

Sep. 18 2007 10:28 AM
Erin from Brooklyn

Can't we take a look at countries where the healthcare system is working and imitate them? Is this too simplistic?

Sep. 18 2007 10:25 AM
Elizabeth from Montebello, NY

Wasn't there a study a while back that just universalizing the _forms_ for insurance would save a ton of money since computer software could be streamlined and there would be fewer errors?

Sep. 18 2007 10:24 AM
jen from brooklyn

When you pay nothing for health insurance, you usually get nothing for health insurance. Will that change? Will the lower cost plans mean that the poor get shuttled to crowded clinics and failing hospitals as they are now? And what about so-called alternative remedies - will those continue to be out of network (meaning out of pocket)? There are many CDC recognized illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia (some consider these environmental illnesses) that are not widely recognized or treated by western medicine practioners. Are people sick with these kind of illnesses on their own?

Sep. 18 2007 10:23 AM
John Celardo from Fanwood, NJ

I worked for the Federal government for 35 years, and retired two years ago. There is a wide variety of health insurance plans, as Dr. Lambrew stated. The cost is very reasonable, and the coverage is great. You can take a look at the plans and rates on the OPM Website at

Sep. 18 2007 10:23 AM
Scott T.

My biggest worry is that if this goes through the legislative process, insurance companies will do their best to insert loopholes to avoid covering the highest risk/most expensive people; and even if they fail at securing loopholes, they will still market heavily to a younger, healthier demographic and do all they can to encourage older, sicker folks to the public alternative.

Sep. 18 2007 10:22 AM
David Staum from Columbus, OH

Once again, the press, treating Hillary as the presumptive nominee, is doing her campaign work for her. Based on the coverage of the last day, one would think that Edwards & Obama hadn't already presented their comprehensive plans a while ago.

Sep. 18 2007 10:20 AM
Robert from NYC

Listen to this morning's Market Place piece on health care, it's the best I've heard regarding the problem and solutions. The commentator was someone Court (Cort?) sorry I don't remember his name.

Sep. 18 2007 10:20 AM

what if we open the markets up and let people choose any insurance from any state or country?

Sep. 18 2007 10:19 AM
Patrick from Little Italy

Can you explain who is going to manage this new program, since Hillary said that no new gov't beaurocracy will be created for this?

Sep. 18 2007 10:18 AM
Mike from Queens

What will Hillary Clinton's plan do for preventing people--even those with insurance--from being bankrupt by out-of-pocket costs to cover treatment for a serious illness?

Sep. 18 2007 10:17 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

So I, as a Type 1 diabetic, who never asked for my disease (and Type 1 is not life-style related) am going to pay the same premium as some fool who smokes cigarettes or gorges themselves to death at McDonald's?

Sep. 18 2007 10:17 AM
hjs from 11211

there was an essay on morning edition today 09/18/2007 that said forcing people to buy insurance is just a big business subsidy to the insurance companies with bad business plans. what do you think?

Sep. 18 2007 10:16 AM
eric fluger from jersey city

if premiums for high risk patients are to be limited, is there to be some sort of re-insurance, or a reserve system for insurers?

Sep. 18 2007 10:15 AM

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