19 November 2013

Contrasting the Affordable Care Act with Medicare and Social Security

From The Next New Deal ("The blog of the Roosevelt Institute"):
What we often refer to as Category A can be viewed as a “neoliberal” approach to social insurance, heavy on private provisioning and means-testing. This term often obscures more than it helps, but think of it as a plan for reworking the entire logic of government to simply act as an enabler to market activities, with perhaps some coordinated charity to individuals most in need.
social_insurance_categoryThis contrasts with the Category B grouping, which we associate with the New Deal and the Great Society. This approach creates a universal floor so that individuals don’t experience basic welfare goods as commodities to buy and sell themselves. This is a continuum rather than a hard line, of course, but readers will note that Social Security and Medicare are more in Category B category rather than Category A. My man Franklin Delano Roosevelt may not have known about JavaScript and agile programming, but he knew a few things about the public provisioning of social insurance, and he realized the second category, while conceptually more work for the government, can eliminate a lot of unnecessary administrative problems.
Via The Dish (more discussion at both links).  Cartoon from The New Yorker.


  1. "5. does all this to ensure better provisioning outcomes, using government's scale and efficiency"
    government's scale and efficiency - I think that kind of thwarts the idea of better provisioning outcomes.

  2. From the Dish link: "But countries like Switzerland and the Netherlands demonstrate that an Obamacare-like system can work reasonably well too." Switzerland and the Netherlands are demographically and culturally different, completely, from the United States.

    1. Ah, I see. Minorities and ethnic minorities don't need health care in the same ways that good white folks like you do....

  3. Actually, Obama went with a (very conservative) Heritage Institute designed health care plan in order to get Republicans onboard the ACA. However, they were bound and determined to do everything in their power to ensure that Obama would be a One Term President (since the election, they are doing everything they can to ensure that he leaves no legacy), and so not a single Republican voted for it. What Obama SHOULD have done was to start with a single payer, Government Run plan, and then let the Republicans negotiate it down to what became the ACA.


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