Ovide’s Odd Idea On Healthcare

If you have debate fatigue at this point, it’s understandable. But this little nugget from Ovide Lamontagne during a gubernatorial healthcare forum on NHPR’s The Exchange this week was enough to make anyone sit up and pay attention. (To listen, find the audio here, then scroll ahead to the 18-minute mark)

In talking about healthcare costs, Lamontagne said it was time to start “decoupling employment from insurance” – which sounds a lot like a single-payer healthcare system. But then he continued.

“You don’t get auto insurance because of the place you work,” Lamontagne said. “You get auto insurance because you happen to see a great ad: in 15 minutes you can save 15 percent on your premiums.”

When it was her turn to respond, SEA-endorsed challenger Maggie Hassan blasted the car insurance comparison.

“I don’t think auto insurance is just like health insurance,” Hassan said. “I don’t think being an unsafe driver is the same thing as getting breast cancer.”

“Your health is not the same thing as your driving record,” Hassan continued. “Some things you can control in your health but some things you just can’t.”

While this wasn’t exactly a proposal from Lamontagne, it doesn’t seem like the most well-thought-out idea. How about it: would you want to rely on discount health insurance sold to you by a caveman? Could Lamontagne’s underlying meaning be that collectively bargaining for health care benefits should be abolished?

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