It’s true that the Affordable Care Act isn’t as complex as opponents make it out to be. Basically, it requires that insurance companies offer the same policies to everyone; it requires that each individual then buy one of these policies (the individual mandate); and it offers subsidies, depending on income, to keep insurance affordable.Ah, how much simpler things would be if the government decided to simply own every element of health care. As the fascist Obamacare solution unfolds into a total catastrophe, it makes Krugman long for the communist solution of universal Medicare. How efficient! How just! Everyone covered and it's all paid for by the government.
Still, there’s a lot for people to go through. Not only do they have to choose insurers and plans, they have to submit a lot of personal information so the government can determine the size of their subsidies. And the software has to integrate all this information, getting it to all the relevant parties — which isn’t happening yet on the federal site.
Imagine, now, a much simpler system in which the government just pays your major medical expenses. In this hypothetical system you wouldn’t have to shop for insurance, nor would you have to provide lots of personal details. The government would be your insurer, and you’d be covered automatically by virtue of being an American.
Sort of like the old GUM department stores in the Soviet Union. None of that wretched "corporate greed" getting in the way, just pure, efficient, government-provided goods and services.
The SAT Test Formulation Of The Issue: Government health care is to modern medicine what this is to Nordstroms.