Friday, October 30, 2009

Insurance news, the Halloween edition

Lots of scary stories in the news today.

First off, pay and benefits are rising at the slowest rate since 1982, according to the Associated Press.

And today brings a long list of stories expressing reservations about the federal health care reform debate in Congress. A sampling:

-Health Care Businesses at Risk in House Overhaul (AP),
-Will the Public Plan Have Higher Premiums than Private Insurance? (WA Post's Ezra Klein)
-and the Magic of Financing Health Care Reform (The New York Times Economix blog has a down-to-earth -- and worrisome -- explanation of the budget-savings assumptions in the health reform plan)

Also in the scary department is a New York Times column written by an economics professor, who argues that federal health reform "is due to explode." Why? He says that requiring everyone to buy coverage or get it through their employers would drive down wages: "In other words, millions of people would be compelled to spend lots of money on something they previously did not want, at least not at prevailing prices."

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