Krugman To Democrats: Do The Right Thing
Paul Krugman tells Democrats what the right thing to do is. That would be, take the Senate bill and get it passed in the House. While a compromise between both chambers would be best, that’s not going to happen. Watering the bill down further only weakens it, and who knows if even that will get Republican support. You can’t break the bill into pieces and try to pass it one element at a time. Here’s why:
Think of health care reform as being like a three-legged stool. You would, rightly, ridicule anyone who proposed saving money by leaving off one or two of the legs. Well, those who propose doing only the popular pieces of health care reform deserve the same kind of ridicule. Reform won’t work unless all the essential pieces are in place.
Suppose, for example, that Congress took the advice of those who want to ban insurance discrimination on the basis of medical history, and stopped there. What would happen next? The answer, as any health care economist will tell you, is that if Congress didn’t simultaneously require that healthy people buy insurance, there would be a “death spiral”: healthier Americans would choose not to buy insurance, leading to high premiums for those who remain, driving out more people, and so on.
So to get reform, take the Senate bill and get the House to embrace it. Otherwise, we wind up with nothing.
…the horrors of health insurance — outrageous premiums, coverage denied to those who need it most and dropped when you actually get sick — will get only worse if reform fails, and insurance companies know that they’re off the hook. And voters will blame politicians who, when they had a chance to do something, made excuses instead.Click here for reuse options!
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