...Clinton and the Democrats would have a far easier time selling “European-style socialized medicine” than what the senator from New York is peddling. And that does not even take into account the potential appeal of a uniquely American single-payer system that might intelligently combine the necessary efficiency of a publicly-funded and defined payment program for covering costs with the appealing prospect of allowing Americans to choose their own basic plans and doctors.Steven Pearlstein of the "liberal" Washington Post, on the other hand, thinks Clinton's plan is the best of the bunch. Feasible, you know?
Newt Gingrich explains, via his interview on Hannity & Colmes, why incremental and "feasible" won't work.
COLMES: All right. Getting to Hillary Clinton's health care plan, this is not a government-run plan. In fact, you can keep the plan you have now.So. Clinton (and the rest of the Dems, except Dennis Kucinich) surrender — she goes along with keeping all the blood money for the insurance industry on the table.
GINGRICH: Alan, Alan...
COLMES: You can buy a new plan for profit. You can pick a plan from the menu of quality private insurance options. You can get the plan that Congress has. You can choose a public plan similar to Medicare.
So you've got a bunch of options here. It's not like it was, as you called "Hillary Care", back in 1994.
GINGRICH: Alan, it has a huge tax increase. It costs $110 billion a year more. It has government intruding all over the place. It cripples the insurance companies. It takes money away from executives. It has government interfering at all sorts of levels.
If you add up the total amount of red tape this is going to cause, I agree with you. This is not Hillary Care. So let's call this "Daughter of Hillary Care". OK? This is way beyond Hillary Care.
Guess what? She loses again. Because it's too expensive.
Walter Shapiro at Salon seems to be talking about a different plan than Nichols, Pearlstein, or Gingrinch. He quotes from Clinton's ad about the plan: "it lets you keep your coverage if you like it [and] provides affordable choices if you don't." and suggests it will be harder to demonize this time.
(That malicious laughter is coming from Newt, who has already accepted the challenge.)
Rather than being timid and incremental, her proposals are as ambitious as those offered by John Edwards, who was the first major Democrat to offer a plan for universal coverage. (Dennis Kucinich remains a voice in the wilderness with his call for a government-run single-payer plan.) Like Edwards, she would legally mandate that uninsured individuals obtain health coverage -- and would provide hefty subsidies for those who cannot afford it on their own. The Clinton and Edwards plans (along with a more narrowly drawn proposal advanced by Barack Obama) would be largely financed by rolling back the Bush era tax cuts for those earning more than $250,000....The sorry part of this article is Shapiro describing Clinton's policy as "bold."
Less than four months before the Iowa caucuses, there is scant evidence that Democrats will be mobilized to choose a candidate based on his or her healthcare position papers. All Democratic contenders agree on the goal of universal coverage for the 47 million without insurance -- and, Kucinich aside, their road maps for getting there only differ in the details.
"The candidates would do just as well to hold up blank reams of paper and say, 'This is my healthcare plan,'" joked pollster Andy Smith, the director of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire. "Healthcare has been consistently coming up as the second or third most important issue in the polls after the war. But are the voters following the debate over the nuances of policy? No."
Bold it's not.