Wednesday, April 30, 2008

McCain's Health Care Policy

Ezra Klein comments on Tyler Cowen's comments on an NYT summary of McCain's health care plan. First, Ezra:
McCain's domestic policy ideas are so half-baked, and so DOA to Congress, that it's very hard to conceive of them as actual policy papers rather than targeted campaign documents. I don't really believe, for instance, that McCain honestly thinks he can convince Congress to blow a multi-trillion dollar hole in the deficit, nor that he honestly thinks he's going to get a Democratic Senate to slash Medicare and SOcial Security in order to fund more tax cuts. This, I think, accounts for some of the soft coverage McCain's proposals have received in the press. They're bad, sure, but no one really thinks he's going to try and carry them out. They're just rhetoric.
I have the same impression, and it's a problem. Of course, for most policy initiatives, I heartily approve of this. The more ideas that are DOA the better.

But McCain has this odd--and highly unfortunate--habit of getting a bee in his bonnet about some stuff and when he does, he usually winds up crafting spectacularly bad legislation. I'd hate to see health care be one of those things. A comment by Hillary Clinton in the NYT is well-taken:
Mrs. Clinton called Mr. McCain’s proposal “a radical plan that would mean millions of Americans would lose their job-based coverage.”

“The McCain plan eliminates the policies that hold the employer-based health insurance system together, so while people might have a choice of getting such coverage , employers would have no incentive to provide it,” she said in a statement. “This means 158 million Americans with job-based coverage today could be at risk of losing the insurance they have come to depend upon.”
Unintended consequences.

Unintended consequences.

Unintended consequences.

They're the only thing that matters.

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