07 January 2008

WSJ on mandates

The Wall Street Journal, like most right-wing echo chambers, gets part of the healthcare debate right. They note that a main difference between Obama's plan and the plans proposed by Clinton and Edwards are mandates. Clinton
said on Saturday that Mr. Obama "proposed a health-care plan that doesn't cover everybody." Mr. Obama counters that the reason many people aren't insured is because they can't afford it. Supposedly he is "echoing right-wing talking points," but he is more accurately echoing reality.
The editorial goes on to make the ludicrous claim that insurance would be affordable if it weren't regulated.

Republicans still aren't reality-based are they? I don't regularly read it: Has the WSJ come out yet to claim that the mortgage industry's woes are due to being so heavily regulated? The WSJ goes on to posit that
For "progressives," Mr. Obama's lack of a mandate is a kind of betrayal. Their political goal is to use incremental steps to gradually achieve a government-run health-care system--and Mr. Obama's steps aren't grand enough.
That does make me wonder about what healthcare progressives who have been bludgeoned into being "moderates" and "realists" think about Obama. I doubt that they feel betrayed. More likely inspired and hopeful. The WSJ thinks that healthcare is
one of the few cases where [Clinton's] triangulating produced a policy position more ambitious, and more leftward, than Mr. Obama's. [Liberals] also highlight her history as an agent of "change," if you consider Mrs. Clinton's calamitous 1994 failure with HillaryCare to be helpful experience. She's betting that Democratic primary voters will give her credit for having tried.
It seems rather to me that Clinton gets credit for the 1993 debacle in good ways and bad. She went through it, learned a lot, and likely would win change this time. Unfortunately, the change wouldn't be reform. She got beat up badly enough that she has a gut understanding of the power of the status quo — and has taken about $1 million from them at this point. Clinton does seem pretty well entrenched in the neoliberal camp. The WSJ might not like mandates, but the insurance industry sees mandates as something they could certainly live with. It's called making lemonade out of lemons.

Leaving American families with the bitter rinds.

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