The mandate is a poison pill

No matter how its worded.

Jon Walker closes this post with a sound idea:

At the very least, remove the individual mandate so it can be held as a bargaining chip by progressives to extract greater reforms between now and 2015, when the mandate would go into effect. Passing the individual mandate now (just so it can sit on the books for years) would be a political and negotiating disaster for Democrats. As it looks now, the next reform battle will be fought on the terms of the insurance companies even more. That is not what I think is a step forward.It's painfully obvious that there are no talking points available to Democrats to attempting to defend the mandate. Its maddening to attempt to figure out why Democrats are intent on imposing a mandate now, enforceable by IRS penalties, that doesn't go into effect for 5 years, only to get clubbed with it for the next three cycles.

A recent national poll done by DFA/PCCC found very the majority of voters opposed to the mandate in its current form by a 56 - 33 margin.

When Jane Hamsher posted about the DFA/PCCC findings as fairly conclusive, Nate Silver objected. He questioned the political negativity of the mandate by stating that the DFA/PCCC question was worded uncharitably toward the mandate, and that a Kaiser poll with charitable wording showed just the opposite of numbers (implying inconclusive findings).

Here's the "uncharitable" wording of the DFA/PCCC poll in question:

Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to buy health insurance -- the so-called mandate -- even if they find insurance too expensive or do not want it? Favor 38 Oppose 51

Here's the "charitable wording in a poll done by Kaiser:

Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can't afford it? Favor 66 Oppose 31

Well, that's quite a contrast, but there's an important component of the Kasier poll that Silver left out. The next question of the Kaiser poll, asked only to those who said they favor the mandate, was worded:

"What if you heard that this could mean that some people would be required to buy health insurance that they find too expensive or did not want?" Still Favor 21 Now Oppose 73

Support drops dramatically. But something else becomes clear when comparing the wording of the single PCCC/DFA question with the two Kaiser polling questions:

PCCC/DFA question:
"Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to buy health insurance -- the so-called mandate -- even if they find insurance too expensive or do not want it?"

Kaiser questions:
"Would you favor or oppose requiring all Americans to have health insurance, either from their employer or from another source, with financial help for those who can't afford it?"

"What if you heard that this could mean that some people would be required to buy health insurance that they find too expensive or did not want?"

All the DFA/PCCC poll question did it seems, is combine the two questions asked by Kaiser. The only difference is that the DFA/PCCC question in the poll includes "the so called mandate" wording. Whatever. If someone wants to argue on behalf of the mandate having a PR headache for Democrats, that fine, but stop with the insinuations that calling it what we have all called it, a mandate, or an individual mandate, involves bias.

And besides, Jane Hamsher's obvious point wasn't that the poll could be no less neutrally worded, but that the political framing of the mandate would be much more toxic than this poll's question, ie., "When it appears in the ads of a Republican challenger who notes that the IRS will act as Aetna’s collection agency, I bet those numbers get dramatically worse."

And that it will. The simple follow-up question on the Kaiser poll turned the favorable numbers above, into a rout of opposition, with 80% opposed and just 18% in favor of the individual mandate to buy insurance.

This is really the point. Who really cares what is the most neutral wording of the poll? Are voters ever going to be presented with a neutral take by either party in ads and message from the candidates? No way now how.

So what we really want, is a further follow-up question that asks the inevitable '10/'12/'14 rightwing framing of the mandate to those 18% still in favor:


'What if you heard the individual mandate to buy private insurance is enforced by fines from the IRS acting as a collection agency on behalf of Aetna?'

'What if you heard the individual mandate to buy insurance is a bailout/giveaway/gift to private insurance companies?'

'What if you heard the individual mandate to buy private insurance is a disproportionately impacts lower-income families?'


And who can imagine what more are available. And yet there was Nate Silver in another recent post titled: "Why Progressives Are Batshit Crazy to Oppose the Senate Bill" where he argued: ... frankly, the individual mandate penalty is not very harsh ...if you adopted the House bill's subsidies for families at under 250% of poverty, and the Senate's (which actually become more generous) for people at greater than 250% of poverty -- perhaps in exchange for a harsher (not weaker!) individual mandate penalty -- you'd have a pretty reasonable compromise.Wow, that turns compromise into suicide-- and he's calling others crazy?

How are proponents of the mandate going to deliver the effective rebuttal to the attack on the mandate? Maybe its the the Kaiser follow-up guilt-question to those who opposed it is the answer (... deny coverage to the sick)? Whatever it is, Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Ezra Klein, and a whole Senate of Democrats that just voted for the mandate, could sure use it. And it won't be reality-based either, but instead a response to fear-mongering tactics for the next 5 years.

At the least, Democrats should get rid of the few-hundred dollar fines of the IRS associated with the mandate. If $1.2 Billion was available in the Manager's amendment to get the votes of Nelson and the others, then surely, can't the feeble amount collected by the IRS can be taken off the bill in an effort of toxic clean-up? And assign some sort of trigger to the mandate, that only becomes binding upon actual reform. Without some overhaul of the mandate in HRC, its a poison pill.

Nate Silver's latest claim is that removing the mandate would increase the CBO score, which is taken on by Jon Walker who points out just the opposite, Removing The Individual Mandate Would Reduce The CBO Score.

I doubt the deal changes much. But, it'll be interesting to see further breakdowns of the poll numbers regarding the mandate. I think it will only become more toxic overall, and the bulk of the response will be damage-control and on the defensive (you don't have to pay the IRS fine, OK!). But specifically, I'd like to see some numbers on voters and non-voters, and whether a person who has insurance or not (the ones effected by the mandate) is a voter, and what sort of breakdowns happen (this is one of those issues where libertarian impulses cross all sorts of barriers). That would begin to give the outlook some perspective of political fall-out.

Tags: DFA, FDL, HCR Mandate, Jane Hamsher, Jon Walker, Nate Sliver, PCCC (all tags)

Comments

53 Comments

Re: The mandate is a poison pill

The only people who are at risk of changing their votes based on the mandate are those who are adversely impacted by it.  In other words, people who already have insurance are not going to flip out and start voting Republican because of a theoretical mandate.  You might as well throw the poll responses of these people out the window.

The reaction of the people who are directly affected by the mandate depends upon the ability of the other sections of this bill to deliver affordable insurance, through subsidies, the exchanges, and all that.  I am not going to bet the ranch that everyone will find an insurance policy they are perfectly happy with; I think the Serious People are counting way too heavily on the magic of the market.  But I'm also not prepared to buy into the argument that it's 100% guaranteed to be junk insurance that doesn't cover anything.  

The health care bill in Massachusetts has received mixed reviews, but it definitely succeeded in covering a lot of people who weren't covered before, and there hasn't exactly been a Republican Revolution because of OH NOES TEH MANDATEZ.

I understand why the mandate looks bad on paper, and I'd personally rather not have a mandate sans public option based upon the principle of the thing, but I predict that in practice it will end up as a major non-event, rather than the cause of a seismic political shift.  I am happy to stand behind this prediction.

by Steve M 2009-12-21 07:30AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I thought the exchanges were there to ensure that the insurance people buy very specifically is not junk.  I realize this could malfunction, but I thought that was a pretty large part of the logic of the exchanges.

by the mollusk 2009-12-21 07:37AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I completely agree with this -- except for the fact that because the mandate isn't in effect for 4 years, it will be very easy for the Republicans to play the fear card all that time. I suspect that once the mandate goes into effect, and people see how they are or are not affected by it, and many uninsured see how they are in fact helped by it and the accompanying subsidies, it will fade into the non-event you predict.

But the lies about the mandate, and the push polling about how you'll be forced to buy it even if you can't afford it (oh wait, you mean we didn't mention the subsidies?) has the opportunity to take its toll, particularly in a media driven by the their love of divisive commentary rather than reporting facts. I think either there needs to be a mandate now, or no mandate.

Frankly, I don't see how health care reform works without a mandate (the best mandate, of course, being taxes that go to a single-payer system). If I expect not to be turned down for insurance because I have a pre-existing condition, then I expect to have to carry insurance when I'm healthy. It would have been nice for my friends who spent the weekend at the DC airport to have been able to buy travel insurance on Saturday morning against the possibility of flight delays, but not surprisingly, no policy was available by then.

by fsm 2009-12-21 07:45AM | 0 recs
No, HCR doesn't work without a mandate

But if the progressive community can get its act together, could not the specter of a mandate help push for greater cost control mechanisms in the next round?

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-21 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: No, HCR doesn't work without a mandate

There a fair number in the "progressive community" rooting against HC reform, the Dems in Congress and WH and waiting for them to fail. And they are willing to aid the GOP in achieving that goal.

So rather than countering GOP talking points about the mandate they are more liekly going to fan the flames. And we can't count on the media either to set the record straight. As someone said: We all hang together or we surely will hang separately. That's what i expect to happen.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:43PM | 0 recs
Re: oh boy do i seriously disagree with you!

But wouldn't they feel the exact same way if there were a public option?

by Steve M 2009-12-21 07:50AM | 0 recs
Re: the medicare at 55?

I don't really get it.  If they simply don't want to be insured, then I don't see why they wouldn't object to having their money taken to finance a public option, single-payer, you name it.  I don't really know what the progressive response is to this, but just because you and I think a public option is fair and just surely doesn't mean everyone will agree.

What's been happening in Massachusetts?  Are 18-29 year olds overwhelmingly re-registering as GOP because of the mandate?

by Steve M 2009-12-21 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: the medicare at 55?

there is a very real difference between paying into the commons (taxes, etc)...

and being forced by law to give money to one of a few private companies that have been victimizing people and getting rich off of it.

by jeopardy 2009-12-21 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: the medicare at 55?

That's actually an excellent point. While people don't like paying taxes- you can convince them that it is a good. However, with mandating private coverage, and their hate of the insurance companies, this will only increase the dislike of the mandate.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: the medicare at 55?

No, the mandate in MA is pretty much a non-issue. That's because both the GOP and the Dems supported it. And because the percentage of the population it affects : individuals makings over 55K and families making over 110K are the kinda types who would rather have insurance than not mandate or no.

Most of the angst about the mandate seems to steam from political considerations rather than policy. Which makes me wonder if the angst on loosing the PO was similar. Certainly that's not what I would hope.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:40PM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I think there is some hope on the Sanders' provision and the cap (could it be further lowered as to income?); but the underlying argument is accurate- our political leaders have not taken the temperature on this issue and its impact is unknown. Maybe is not as bad politically as it seems or maybe it is worse. I would like to see some hard numbers on who is affected and how they vote.  

by RAULC 2009-12-21 07:54AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

Well I have read that 95% of people who voted in the 2008 elections had health insurance. Most voters will not be directly affected by the mandate and will receive the positive and very popular benefits from the insurance reforms.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:02AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I would love to see the numbers. I searched around for exit polls that show the questioning but have come up empty.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-21 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I don't remember where I read it, which is why I can't cite it. But I know I was surprised at the time.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

The number of people who health insurance is not really relevant. the issue is whether a) they are concerned about their health insurance (they are) and b) do they like being forced to do something where no discernable benefit can be had even when they do already have insurance. People like choice unless you can show them a benefit, which the Democrats here can not. This bill also makes it worse for anyone making 45k or more a year rather than better.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:08AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

Everyone making 45K a ear or more is worse off?

Let's see...my same-sex partner and I make more than that, and because he has a pre-existing condition, he is unable to get private insurance at any cost. Fortunately, he is presently covered under my policy because I have an enlightened employer.

Now if for some reason I am forced to take a different job, he'll be able to get insurance. [Well, once this all kicks in, which I've already said I'd like to see be immediately.]

It may not be ideal, and it may still involve more fighting with an insurance company that I'd like. But to claim that we won't see any benefit....that's just not true.

by fsm 2009-12-21 09:35AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

The bill contains weak language regarding that issue, and on top of that will likely not be enforced:

"No enforcement mechanism in health care bill"

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/20 817188-No-Enforcement-Mechanism-in-Hea lth-Bill-Against-Insurance-Industry-Abus e

"why regulation is insufficient"

http://www.mydd.com/story/2009/12/17/154 018/50#commenttop

He will not be able to get insurance at an affordable rate, and even if he does, the insurance companies can still play the same old games as bad faith actors. So you will end up with insurance in name only.

The actual problem with the bill is that it moves around the problems you will face, but keeps the problems you will face so that it fools you into thinking your problems are now solved. It chimera without major revisions, even on its own terms.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

Yes, I've read your opinions on the subject. I've read other opinions that disagree. Including, now, Howard Dean's, though I know he's not quoted here as much after the manager's amendment strengthened a lot of the terms and he's cautiously optimistic about it.

Worst case, I'd rather have the option that my husband can get insurance and appeal (if necessary) than be shut out altogether.

by fsm 2009-12-21 10:05AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

You  know what- I dont believe half the shit some of you claim you are going through. What I know for a fact is that if you truly were concerned about what your boyfriend will face, you would call the situation faced by Californians "opinion." The fact you say that alone makes me question your sob story.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:03AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I felt sorry for you right after you said that. Is it a great burden carrying so much bitterness around?

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:47PM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

And by the way, the worse case is that you and your boyfriend will not get the treatment as many people already are not. The way this works is that you will bring in claim, they decide they don't want to cover you, they have a cadre of lawyers go after you, and if you think that you and your husband can fight it right now given what sounds like a limited income whereas the state of California can not- then I have to say thats just not credible.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

here's representative conyers discussing what you call just my opinion

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/21 817484-Conyers:-The-Constitution-estab lished-a-bicameral-legislature.-

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:24AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

if your husband gets sick and the insurance company rescinds his policy, your appeal could be tied up in court for years.

Meanwhile your husband is dying, and you are going bankrupt to try to pay for both medical care and for the attorneys to fight the insurance companies.  

And if you don't think that the Insurance Lobbyists are going to go whining and pressuring the HHS to allow them to raise premiums because they have to cover preexisting conditions (which this Bill gives the HHS head the ability to do very easily), then you are being pretty naive, IMO.

It seems to me that perhaps the ONLY thing that this bill properly enforces is the individual mandate.

by jeopardy 2009-12-21 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

one of the reasons I question the claim about how this will help when people post this sort of shit online is that in my experience when you truly concerned about how a bill is going to affect you- then you are concerned about whether it will really do what it says it is going to do. I make no bones about the fact I grew up poor and had to struggle my way into the middle class. the idea that I would have a situation like this where I am not sure what a bill will do to me, but I am going to accept the word of a politician although a lot of contra evidence is out there- is just not something struggling people do.  especially not the kind that has the ability find this site, and post that kind of claim.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:32AM | 0 recs
Re: 95%?

I think you are right, it has the potential to bring in new voters. I think the more likely thing that'll happen, is people will vote for legislators that promise to boost subsidies and lower their health care costs, not get ride of their health insurance all together.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:54AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

Well, if you poll Americans on anything they are forced to pay I am sure it is pretty unpopular. People are forced to buy car insurance if they own a car, home owners insurance if they own a house and have a mortgage, mortgage insurance if they don't have a large down payment, not to mention TAXES.

The individual mandate gets more people coverage. The people who have no health problems during the year may resent the mandate, but the people who have serious health problems will be thankful they were forced to sign up for health insurance.

Why not look at numbers in MA where they have actually implemented a mandate? Maybe because the program has worked well and is not a "poison pill." I have a friend who lives in Boston and she had to pay a fine the first year, then guess what, she signed up for health care. Did she hate her elected leaders? Not at all.

At this point, many progressive bloggers are bordering on dishonesty. Jane Hamsher was a huge Clinton supporter and Clinton was the strongest backer of the mandate in the primaries. This is all getting silly.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: hmm...

Its bizarre-- that sort of projection.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-21 08:22AM | 0 recs
Re: hmm...

If someone is diagnosed with cancer or has a massive heart attack a month after being forced to buy health insurance, you don't think they will be thanking President Obama for sparing them hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) in debt?

They may have to spend 10K for the year for their premium and out-of-pocket expenses but that amount is not likely to drive someone into medical bankruptcy.

As someone who was hospitalized for a month as a child and had to receive years of follow-up specialized care I know the bills add up for a family. My father was self-employed but smart enough to buy health insurance for the family. If he hadn't done that my family would have gone bankrupt.

This bill, since the annual cap was removed, will pretty much guarantee that no family who has insurance will go bankrupt due to their medical bills.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:50AM | 0 recs
Re: hmm...

Please provide support for your claim that the bill "pretty much guarantees" no family will go bankrupt due to medical bills.

by orestes 2009-12-21 12:47PM | 0 recs
Re: hmm...

Simple math... even in a catastrophic medical emergency situation middle to lower income families HC expenses are capped at 20% of income.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Jane Hamsher was not

My mistake ... I never read her blog then. I had heard incorrectly apparently.

by Lolis 2009-12-21 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Jane Hamsher was not

Wait a second- you accuse liberal bloggers of "bordering on dishonesty," yet you may spurious claims about Hamsher based on secondhand hearsay?  Have you no intellectual dignity?  I am always alarmed at the ease with which people will recount hollow statements simply because they heard it somewhere.  This is in part why the nation is in such dire straits.  People don't take the time to think about what they read and hear and demand evidence.  I guess you probably don't have any support for your claim that the HClessR bill will avoid medical bankruptcies.

by orestes 2009-12-21 12:52PM | 0 recs
Re: Jane Hamsher was not

Now that one favorable poll has come out they are on to the next talking point.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 01:35PM | 0 recs
Re: oh yeah

Rove was right to call politics faith based.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 03:27PM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

Reason for the mandate was supposed to address the need for consumer protections like rescission, and yet, we know now that this is not really going to occur due weak language in the bill and any viable enforcement mechanism. WHile this has occured (the weakening of the reasons for the mandate), the Senate also increased the penalties under the mandate. Anyone who thinks this will go over well with the American people is living in a Democratic fantasy land.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 08:39AM | 0 recs
The mandate is necessary.

Eliminate it and there univeral health care is simply impossible.

Which is great if you're a conservative and you want people to get sick and die.  But if you're a liberal and you don't want that, well, you should either sell it or shut up, because to do otherwise is to render impossible any reform, even the kind you like.

But it's clear that a bunch of assholes have decided that they're willing to destroy any hope of any reform if they can't get the reform they want.

I still don't understand why progressive can't simply argue FOR a public option, or FOR expanded Medicaid, or FOR expanded subsidies.  Is it because it's too difficult?  It's simply easier to attack the unpopular-but-necessary than it is to promote the popular-but-optional?  Whatever it is, it's destructive.

by Drew 2009-12-21 08:55AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is necessary.

this is not the rational for the mandate.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is necessary.

by the way- nice attempt at callign anyone who disagrees with your right wing frame out as a republican, when this bill is a right wing plutocrats wet dream.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:05AM | 0 recs
Not a Republican, a fool.

You can decide for yourself which is worse.

We tried a system where you only buy insurance if you want to.  It didn't work.  It will never work.  And not a single person on this thread actually supports such a system: everyone here prefers a system where you still have to pay.  They prefer a system where you pay another entity, or through another means.

Guess what?  Argue against a mandate now, and you'll never see your preferred system come to be, either.

This bill may not be what I would have liked, but I think it's laughable to call this a "right-wing plutocrat's wet dream." But hey, if you want to enable a real "right-wing plutocrat's wet dream," continue down this path.  You'll get exactly that.

by Drew 2009-12-21 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Not a Republican, a fool.

 I have been following this issue since 2004. The only way you could sell the mandate was linking it to the public option or real reduced costs rather than redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the lower classes (like this bill does). The polls agreed with me.  You can continue to try to use fear as much as you want, but what it tells me is that you know the bill can not sell itself.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 09:32AM | 0 recs
I'm simply stating the facts.

The mandate is necessary for any health reform to work.  Reform without a public option, reform with a public option, Medicare For All, anything.  It doesn't matter whether a mandate is "popular" or "unpopular" - it's necessary.  So why undermine any reform by attacking what is necessary for every reform.  It's fundamentally destructive.

This reform will subsidize the purchase of insurance for millions of Americans, establish strict regulation of insurers to protect all Americans, and will serve as a foundation for a better health care system in the future.  I do think that improvement sells itself.

But if both the right and the left are willing to attack it in ways that are either deceptive (MANDATEZ OH NOES - except when it's attached to my reform) or dishonest (DEATH PANELS OH NOES), then it really doesn't matter.  Lies stick.

by Drew 2009-12-21 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: I'm simply stating the facts.

there are a few answers.

1) a mandate to buy from private companies is absolutely NOT necessary. People had less of a problem with a mandate if you could pay into the commons (PO, Medicare, etc)

2) Even if a mandate to buy from private companies was necessary, doing that part first without the proper protections for ordinary people (robust cost-containment, etc)gives more power to the insurance companies to victimize us, without ensuring that the benefits of the mandate go to the people instead of to the Insurance executives' 4th mansions.

by jeopardy 2009-12-21 11:05AM | 0 recs
A mandate is necessary.

Unless everyone contributes, the system will fail.  It's as simple as that.

It's not necessary that the system consist wholly of private insurers, but it really doesn't matter whether it does or doesn't; whether you have a wholly public or a wholly private system, everyone still has to contribute.

It really doesn't matter what people have a "problem" with; the fact that people have a "problem" with a mandate doesn't change whether it's necessary, any more than the fact that people have a "problem" with gravity will somehow change whether it exists.

I've read a lot of blather about whether the regulations are sufficient, but honestly, I find the arguments difficult to take seriously because NONE of them are made in the service of strengthening the system: it's not as if Daily Kos or MyDD or Firedoglake is writing front page posts about how absolutely necessary it is to strengthen the regulatory framework to protect consumers from industry abuses.

Nope, they've taken it as a given not only that the regulations will fail, but that any regulation will fail.  Because government cannot work.

Unless we get a public option.  In which case it will suddenly work.

It's a bunch of contradictory bullshit.  And the only possible outcome will be a public so opposed to any sort of mandate to buy insurance - public, private, or otherwise - that any reform will be impossible.

by Drew 2009-12-21 04:19PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm simply stating the facts.

You make assertrions. the stated reason for the mandates was that it was about the consumer protection laws. Once you eliminate teh stated reasons, you claims of necessiary rings like industry talking points.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:05AM | 0 recs
The reason for the insurance mandate

Has nothing to do with consumer protection laws, as far as I've read.  A mandate is necessary because if everyone doesn't pay into the system it will become progressively more expensive for those who do, until such time as . . . you have exactly the system we have now.  A failure.

No matter which health system you prefer, it will require that everyone who is able to contribute does so.  If you argue that such a requirement is evil, then you might as well embrace the death panel claims, because the end result is the same: you will never have universal health insurance.

by Drew 2009-12-21 03:59PM | 0 recs
Re: and we'll have more power over

It sounds like talking points to me.

by bruh3 2009-12-21 11:06AM | 0 recs
You're right.

The government can never effectively regulate anything, because the government can never do anything properly.

Right?

You should join the Republican Party if you really believe that.  You should be opposed to the public option if you really believe that.  Yet you don't.  Strange.

Talking points indeed.

We'll have more power over insurance companies because the reform gives the government greater power over insurance companies than it has ever had.  If you feel that is insufficient then you should argue for stronger regulation, not weaker regulation.

Honestly, the public option would be good, but it isn't and never was a substitute for a well-regulated private insurance industry.  The fact that no one seems to have cared about that until now leads me to question whether their newfound concern over the ability of the government to regulate insurers is sincere.

by Drew 2009-12-21 04:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Not a Republican, a fool.

Well Said.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:52PM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

I like polls that focus on the actual policy rather than the politics ("Obama's bill"). So this is interesting. But I wonder, how many people would gain insurance if there was no mandate? 30 million now, and how many without it?

by Nathan Empsall 2009-12-21 09:16AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

How do you arrive at 30 million to begin with?   I know its there as the number, but how did they get to that number?

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-21 09:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The mandate is a poison pill

It's in the CBO estimate.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:52PM | 0 recs
I suspect

that we are going to see a Jacksonian reaction on this.

I am not sure that Administration is fully aware of the push back that is likely to come from this.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-21 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: I suspect

I would like to think they care more about policy rather than polls.

It will be interesting to see where this push back comes from however. Opposition to the PO was fairly well mapped politically - some blue dogs, Lieberman, conserva-dems and the GOP. Opposition to the mandate - ain't getting anything in Congress. Are you saying there is not one senator who doesn't represent the negative viewpoint on this issue - not Sanders, not Feingold, not anyone... strange is it not.

by vecky 2009-12-21 10:56PM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads