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Wednesday, February 7th 2007

The Edwards Health Plan Explained


His Health Plan Would Cover Plastic Surgery To Give Everyone Boyish Good Looks

I’ve commented on Presidential Candidate John Edward’s health plan but my take was pretty shallow on actual info. Now Managed Care Matters has an excellent summary of the plan.

The funding was pretty well previous covered,

–Funding for employee health care will be thru the employer’s plan or a 6% payroll tax if no plan is offered

–Funding for insurance for those not employed will be via repeal/non-renewal of the Bush tax reduction for those with income above $200k and capturing of capital gains taxes on stock sales that (theoretically) is not paid now

There is something interesting however,

–Medical underwriting and risk selection methodologies will be prohibited; altho Edwards doesn’t say this, it looks like he is mandating community rating.

Community rating is important if you want to maintain the private payers but guarantee universal coverage.

Experience rating prevents those trying to buy insurance as individuals from doing so. In this scheme insurers grade your premiums based on your personal characteristics – you current health, age, etc. If you have a preexisting medical condition this screws you over.

In community rating the premiums are based on…well, as the name implies, “community” characteristics. For instance, your geographic location. Obviously, this is more in line with what people who get their insurance through employers currently enjoy.

I will say my personal philosophy is against this sort of regulation. Despite that we all know the failings of a laize-fare, everyman for himself insurance market. And mandatory community rating is obviously a prerequisite for universal coverage with the current funding structure.

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