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December 07, 2007

Another Word on Man Dates

Jon Cohn, as is his wont, offers the single most comprehensive look at the policy questions and the relevant evidence.

December 7, 2007 | Permalink


Well done piece.

A little too much "trust the experts, they all agree" on his evidence that mandates work. The data is pretty minimal. Obama's plan covers 95%.

As Cohn says, there are a lot of assumptions here. There are progressive and conservative arguments on both sides of the debate.

A lot of gray area overall and folks are arguing as if this is black-and-white. This discussion has taken on way too much importance relative to the differences actually involved between the policies.

Posted by: wisewon | Dec 7, 2007 3:06:54 PM

Ezra, a plea for this to be the final word. Its time to move on to other topics in health care.

Posted by: wisewon | Dec 7, 2007 3:08:40 PM

Its time to move on to other topics in health care. - wisewon

Indeed. Part of the problem with the whole "to man-date or not to date?" argument is that it soley frames signing as many people as possible up for comprehensive insurance (which they might not need) as the end all and be all and only path to achieving universal health care. And, as I just blogged, it is not.

Posted by: DAS | Dec 7, 2007 3:17:44 PM

Ezra, a plea for this to be the final word. Its time to move on to other topics in health care.

Ezra: a plea for you to continue hammering away at the once and hopefully future critical progressive goal: universal health care.

Question for Obama supporters: It seems like only yesterday health insurance for everybody was an almost talismanic goal for liberals. And please don't say: we want health care for all not health insurance for all, because even in Canada, say, or Britain, people are enrolled in an insurance plan. It's just that it's social insurance, paid for by taxation. As far as I know, you can't just hop on a plane from New York to Toronto, schedule back surgery, and expect Canadian taxpayers to pay for it. You'll have to provide proof that you're enrolled in Ontario's version of Medicare. This is similar to how our own system works for the elderly. You have to be enrolled in the government-sponsored insurance plan known as Medicare in order to receive benefits. This is just how it's done everywhere in the rich world, because of the necessity of financial controls.

So, back to my point: it seems mighty implausible to me that the many people who are supporting Obama for the nomination supported health insurance for all a few months ago, but now no longer do. So, why, as I browse the liberal blogoshphere, do I encounter almost no criticism among his supporters for the non-universality of his healthcare proposal? This obviously doesn't imply the necessity of urging him to embrace mandates. But why are there no calls for Obama to augment his proposal with, say, a call to open up Medicare for all who want to join (or some other comparably progressive concept to reach universality)? Is universality really just no longer a progressive ideal? Really? Or is it rather the case that y'all understandably don't want to bloody your preferred candidate? The latter seems more likely, and, while understandable, you can hardly blame Ezra and those of us who are passionately committed to the ideal of universality for continuing to inconveniently point out your candidate's principle shortcoming. It is inconvenient for y'all, I can understand that. Just like it would be mighty inconvenient for us to have a standard bearer next year who doesn't support UHC.

Oh, and guess what: an Obama who was calling for Medicare to be opened up for anybody who wants to join would have this particular liberal dropping Hillary or Edwards like a hot potato.

Posted by: Jasper | Dec 7, 2007 4:15:58 PM

What about automatic enrollment?

Posted by: ohiomeister | Dec 7, 2007 5:06:25 PM

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