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Q&A

J.K. Wall
November 25, 2009
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Dr. Aaron Carroll is a professor of pediatrics and director of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also conducts research for the Indianapolis-based Regenstrief Institute.

IBJ: The reform bills pending in Congress would create only a limited government-run health insurance plan, not a single-payer system as you favor. Do you still support the bills?

A: The bill will do more good than harm. Increased coverage is good. The cost is going to be the big looming thing in the future. The bill spends $900 billion over 10 years. That’s $90 billion a year. We spend $2.5 trillion a year on health care right now. That’s nothing. That’s a sneeze. Nothing, in anyone’s bill on either side of the aisle, is addressing the $2.5 trillion. That’s what’s going to kill us.

IBJ: Your center published survey results in August showing that Americans believed a lot of myths about the health care reform legislation. Do you sense the public's understanding has improved since then or not?

A: I absolutely believe this is still going on. Half the population, and it’s on both sides, is completely misinformed. We’re still talking about rationing and death panels. We’re going to have to grow up. You can’t have everyone have everything. Otherwise you go bankrupt. Rationing, that occurs right now (when private insurers decline to cover for some services). Private health insurance can’t give you everything you want. Personally, I’d rather have it be the public system, where it’s out in the open and we can all debate it.

IBJ: What elements of health care reform have received too little attention?

A: That regardless of whether they pass a bill, we are not done. We’re not even close to done. At some point, we are going to have to have a real conversation about how to handle the cost. No one is really proposing anything because it’s not going to be popular. President Obama (in his September speech before Congress) said he would be the last president to deal with health care. That’s crazy talk.

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  • you forgot...
    ...to mention that we could have paid for health care for EVERY American if the Bush/ Cheney regime had not started 2 wars costing over $2 TRILLION (so far!) and also cutting taxes for the rich while borrowing money from the Communist Chinese and Muslim extremist Saudis...nice freakin' work from your 'conservatives'! Seriously we ALL could have health care if it weren't for these criminals!

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. Boston.com has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. http://www.boston.com/business/technology/innoeco/2010/07/interactions_banks_63_million.html The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.

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