Saturday, July 21, 2007

No Runny Heavy-Lifts Nurse Robson/Rached's Plan

The way that Seth at InEffect 'splains it, you'd think that Nurse Rached Robson's plan is merely a matter of flipping a switch or two, changing the tax flow, and setting a course for Nirvana.

"'T ain't so!!" says the Eggster. Not only is the Lewin Group study horrifically flawed in its cost estimates--the Nurse Robson/Rached plan also provides that public employees STILL don't contribute an extra dime towards their insurance costs.

No wonder "lobotomy" is the common denominator in the headline here.

Introducing "CubaCareWisconsin"--with Eggster's analysis.

--The state currently spends somewhere north of $7,000 per participant; yet CubaCare Wisconsin assumes that it would pay just over $4,000 per participant.

"CubaCare" proponents maintain that a chunk of this $3,000./person difference is in the 'cost of administration' --that is, that eliminating several insurance providers (reducing admin costs to only ONE entity) will make up a lot of the difference. Then they argue that the rest will be handled by "volume discounts."

--...they [WEAC] and other public employees, and only that group can have their employer (specifically government) pay the 4% that is supposed to be the employees’ contribution without either a decrease in take-home pay or an increase in gross pay (and thus an increase in income taxes).

This accounts for the silence of WEAC on the viability of the plan. Were your average teacher to be forced to give up after-tax dollars--say 8% of their salaries--this plot would never have seen the light of day.

A double-trick-with-numbers:

--The AARP-funded study by the Lewin Group, which assumed that $15.2 billion initial cost would hold, estimated that health-care costs would go up by 6.5% annually, which is actually less than the 8% annual increase of the cost of the state employee plan. [That's Part One of the monte-game.] Meanwhile, according to the Department of Revenue, wages, and thus the increase in revenues from the taxes intended to pay for this monster, are expected to go up only by 4.6% annually. [Part Two]

So the "structural deficit" bloats even further than currently estimated (around $600-900 million, depending...)

A whole new way of 'visioning Nirvana', hey.

HT: P-Mac

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