by kosLet me say up front that my disagreement with the "support the current bill" crowd is based on policy and political considerations, but I can see how reasonable people can come to the opposite conclusion. I don't think supporters of this wreck of a bill are stupid or compromised or anything like that. I'm not like Joe Klein railing against "assorted nonsense from left-bloggers", which so reminds me of his ad hominems during the Iraq War debate. How'd that turn out, Joe?
In short, there appears to be a divide between those who think the insurance industry will play nice, even with little incentive to do so, and people like me who don't. They believe that government will enforce the new regulations, people like me have seen entire industries employ armies of lawyers and lobbyists with the sole intent of undermining and avoiding such regulations. I'm a half-empty guy, others are half-full. Regardless, this is a fantastic debate. For critics who bemoaned the lack of policy discussed on blogs, this year has certainly proven that when we do have the opportunity to impact policy (i.e. a Democratic-run government), we certainly can get into the weeds on policy.
Ezra Klein takes me to task for my opposition to the mandate, pointing out that Switzerland, among other systems, have mandates that require citizens to purchase health insurance from private insurers. It's true. They do. Those countries also have strict regulatory regimes that heavily regulate those insurance companies. In Switzerland, for example, insurance companies cannot profit from the essential benefits plan everyone must purchase. That's kind of an important detail missing from the Senate's monstrosity of a bill. In addition, Switzerland also strictly regulates the price of medicines and medical devices -- something this Senate has explicitly refused to allow.
Give me those kinds of restrictions to the Senate bill, and I'll rethink my opposition.
Then there's Nate Silver and his 20 questions For Bill Killers, which I'll happily answer:
Click here to read the 20 answers and the entire post.