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Veteran consumer journalist Trudy Lieberman wrote the cover story for Harper's July edition, an honest critique of Obamacare.Lieberman, who had a long career at Consumer Reports, now contributes to the Columbia Journalism Review and has focused on healthcare issues in recent years.
You can read her important article here.
We open by noting that the partisan skirmish over Obamacare, with more than 40 attempts to repeal it, is now over. Republicans were ordered to oppose it at all costs, and Democrats defensively have avoided acknowledging its obvious flaws.
We discuss the fundamental problem of strengthening the control over the industry by for-profit insurance companies, and the clear failure of "free market" delivery of health care. Lieberman articulates what she tags as "the Great Cost Shift", and PBC expands her frame to include pensions and the New Deal. She notes that American consumers have pretty passively accepted this re-structuring of our labor standards over the last 30 years.
We also talk about the "narrow networks" that ensurers give to Obamacare customers, providing less coverage at higher costs. And we discuss the astounding rate increases that carriers are demanding for 2016.
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