Thursday, September 03, 2009

a reminder, from February 2008

Yes, another gripe about Obama from his left. This was an ad that his campaign ran against HRC in Feb 2008. At the time somebody at dKos criticized it for being unfair. It struck me as fair, since individual mandates struck me as a public policy abomination in '08, when Obama apparently opposed them. Today, in the fall of 2009 he supports them, and they're no less foul.

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At September 03, 2009 2:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

What a surprise, health care reform turns into welfare for the health insurance industry. I’m telling ya, Obama is one of them there socialists.

At September 07, 2009 11:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was unfair because it was an not an accurate description of Clinton's health care proposal.


At September 07, 2009 5:26 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

Hi Buzzcook. The reason I think it's fair to criticize anybody who favors individual mandates is two-fold:

first, even if you mean to provide subsidies for the poor you're providing the private healthcare companies with a captive market that has to purchase their product, and especially in today's political climate what happens when democrats have less power in the future is the funding for the less well-off gets stripped bare while the law that forces people to pay for insurance even when they don't have the funds stays in place.

Second, and I realize this is more abstract, but it encourages people to regard healthcare not as a right but as an individual obligation-- not something that you have a right to but something you owe, that you owe society to do what you can not to be a burden, and Lord knows our society is plenty mean already.

At September 08, 2009 10:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi back, Jonathan.

As I said it is a an inaccurate description.

I don't claim that Clinton proposed single payer or that her brief campaign description of a health care plan was anything more than middle of the road.
It did however provide a public option, which was the thrust of her mandate for universal coverage.

Forcing people to carry health insurance regardless of their ability to pay would a very bad thing. Simply giving tax credits to help cover health care cost would also not work those who can least afford health care.

That was not what Clinton's out line of a plan did.

This guy gives a fair over view. You can also compare his review of Obama's campaign promises on health care.

My point, if I have one, is not to take you to task for opposing unfunded individual mandates or funded gifts to insurance companies.
It is to simply point out that your interpretation of Clinton's proposal didn't take into account that her mandate included a public option.
That was why Krugman preferred it to Obama's and that was what made her universal coverage mandate workable rather than punitive.


At September 08, 2009 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's better to know what a "plan" intends to do, financially, rather than merely listening to pundits opine on what they pretend to know about that "plan."

Clinton's plan was Hillary's plan and it was essentially the same as what we have now under Obama -- a reshuffling of which profiteers take a bigger chunk of the profit pie. In my view it takes some serious optimism (on a positive note) or naivete (on a more negative note) to see either one as an improvement.

I've had a lot of experience working with and for insurance companies, and one thing that experience taught me is that insurers and affiliated entities are damned good at public relations. What they tell the public, or what their chosen politicians tell the public, about their "changes" -- that stuff is always fluff, great-sounding fluff to be sure, but not too effective at disclosing reality.

Back to Hillary's plan -- a bill that spans 1200 pages is more complexity, not an improvement. Complex schemes hide all sorts of profit.

What one should bear in mind at all times is that politicians like Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, Joe Biden -- they are owned by the big fiscal interests. They aren't in office to serve the disadvantaged.

At September 08, 2009 3:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charles, the 1,200 page plan was from 1993. Senator Clinton's proposal during the campaign was less than two pages.

At September 08, 2009 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What plan would that be, Buzzcook?

At September 08, 2009 6:02 PM, Blogger Jonathan Versen said...

blogger said my response had too many characters, so I will post it as a regular post.


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