There’s quite a bit of discussion of the Edwards healthcare proposal. Ezra Klein’s first blush reaction to the plan is that he likes it; Steve Verdon isn’t completely negative on the plan although he does provide some useful criticism; Balloon Juice and Newshog are both critical of the plan because it doesn’t remove insurers from the picture.
I’m sure everybody is tired of my opinion of how we need to reform our healthcare system by this time (short version: cost control must come first) so I’m going to take a different tack. The problem of people without healthcare insurance is, indeed, a problem but it isn’t a national problem. It’s a local problem. Just two states account for more than a quarter of all the people without healthcare insurance: Texas and California. Both states not only have a large number of people without healthcare insurance, they have a large proportion of people (25 and 19%, respectively). When you add just a handful of other states with high proportions of uninsured (Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina) it accounts for nearly half of the total.
When half of the total problem is in just eight states with less than half the total population, that would suggest to me that local conditions are the issue that needs to be dealt with.
If you add a solution to the free rider problem, the problem of people without healthcare insurance begins to become a much more tractable one.
Whatever solution is arrived at should be tailored to the problems we actually have.