Nice video of Keith Jarret playing Autumn Leaves.
Listening to health care/financial advice from PricewaterhouseCoopers from like gett’n up in the morning and plowing the back forty with an old mule. So its no wonder konservative kool-aid drinkers have broken open a new box of straws to celebrate PC’s health care cost impact (pdf report) from health-care reform, The Insurance Industry’s Deceptive Report
At least, it would in the world of PWC’s report. But it wouldn’t do so in the real world. So too with these assumptions. Economists think that the tax on high-cost health-care plans will lead employers and consumers to demand cheaper plans that do more to control costs. In fact, PWC expects that, too. They just don’t build it into their estimate. On Page 6, they say, “Although we expect employers to respond to the tax by restructuring their benefits to avoid it, we demonstrate the impact assuming it is employed.” That’s a bit like saying although I expect to eat doughnuts this morning, I will instruct my scale to act as if I had abstained.
If you read all of PricewaterhouseCoopers footnotes where they place their cornucopia of assumptions you do not have to be brilliant at health-care economics to understand how worthless it is. Since AHIP ( the insurance industry trade group that commissioned the report) has been semi-pro health-care reform there is some speculation as to why, at this late date, they are suddenly blowing smoke up the public’s collective backside. One reason is that pharmaceutical companies and hospitals have gotten some assurances and lacking similar deals, AHIP is pushing for the mandatory element of reform( millions in new policies). If health-care reform is game and this was an aggressive move by the insurance industry to get its way, probably not the brightest thing they could have done in the age of the intertubes. Blow back from fact checking is hell. Bloggers have not only noticed how cheesy the report is, but the major print editorials as well. That guarantees a week of sound bites from Democrats and the White House along the lines of this, Insurance Industry Report Promises To Increase Premiums By 111% Under Health Reform
As Rep. Anthony Weinder (D-NY) explained this morning on MSNBC, “the health insurance lobby today fired the most important salvo in weeks for the public option“:
If you have the health care industry complaining that we’re going to raise costs because of these changes, it is them putting us on notice that we haven’t put enough cost containment in the bill. You know, the health care industry themselves is putting out a whole report saying that. That should be a tell to the Baucus team that you know what, maybe it’s time for them to go back and revisit the public option. In a strange way, and look, obviously they didn’t mean this, the health insurance lobby today fired the most important salvo in weeks for the public option, because they have said, as clear as day, left to their own devices, according to their own number crunchers, they’re going to raise rates 111%.
Some more analysis here, AHIP’s Hissy Fit