Sen. Gregg: Force the poor to buy health insurance

Source: RawStory

New Hampshire Republican Senator Judd Gregg, who was almost President Obama’s commerce secretary, thinks he has a solution to America’s healthcare crisis. Watch him explain the plan below:

This video is from Fox News Sunday, published to YouTube on Sunday, July 19, 2009.

If you didn’t catch that, here’s what the senator just proposed:

Force the poor into buying “high-deductible” policies. But don’t call them poor. Call them “illegal” or “young people” with wonky spending priorities.

Throw in a subsidy of unknown value to somehow “incentivize” folks who have not seen a doctor in years to suddenly vanish a valuable several hundred dollars from their monthly income for individual or family plans.

Don’t mention any way to “incentivize” insurance companies to cover the “uninsurable” due to pre-existing conditions or chronic illnesses, of whom there are many. In fact, ignore them. They’re not much concern at the ballot box.

Finally, Gregg’s masterstroke: Don’t mention that ‘high deductible’ means insurance which will refuse payment on needed care unless the holder can pay a lump sum to initiate treatment, usually $5,000 – $30,000, or more, which of course is Absolutely No Good to someone who cannot afford decent insurance in the first place. (At which point, many Republicans would suggest “health savings accounts” to fill in the gap, which is also no help to the poor.)

Way to go, Senator. Healthcare crisis = solved.

When he said he wasn’t “110 percent a part of the team” with President Obama after his brief nomination to commerce, he sure wasn’t kidding.

A New York Times poll in Junefound that 72 percent of Americans support a taxpayer-funded, optional public healthcare plan, and a full 57 percent are willing to pay higher taxes to get it.

President Obama plans a Wednesday prime-time speech to advocate his healthcare reforms.

— Stephen C. Webster

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