Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama's healthcare speech

Views from the Economist, from reason magazine and from Jay Cost at RealClearPolitics.

I did not watch the speech - I don't think I have watched a presidential speech in decades - but that is because they generally contain no actual information, because I tend to want to throw things at the screen (and screens are expensive) and because it takes much less time (and emotional pain) to simply read about them ex post. I do remember watching both Nixon's resignation speech and Ford's embarrassing "Whip Inflation Now" speech as a wonky child.

My guess is that all three of the views have some truth to them. It will be interesting to see what happens. I suspect that the net effect will be either a reform that costs a lot and does not fix many of the universally agreed-upon problems with the current system (e.g. preferential tax treatment of health insurance, too much end of life spending, etc.) while extending care to some (maybe even most) of those not presently purchasing insurance, or nothing at all.