In terms of spending changes, the Baucus Bill mainly does two things:
- It spends money to help people buy insurance; or in the case of poor people who are currently uninsured, it insures them outright thorugh Medicaid.
- It rearranges the way the goverment currently spends money on health care, primarily Medicare and Medicaid, in ways that will reduce spending overall.
Note that we're talking about the government's balance sheet here, not America's overall health care spending. Whether or not that goes up or down is a different question. But the experience of Taiwan suggests that it's at least possible to expand coverage without spending more money. After all, the US spends more on health care than any other country, so if we can figure out how to spend that money more efficiently we ought to be able to cover everyone.
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