Thursday, October 7, 2010

Klein counters RedState-fueled hysteria

Just in time for the election season, folks on the right are trying to turn health care reform into a liability for the Democrats.

Consider the lather RedState bloggers have worked themselves into. (Did I just end a sentence with a preposition? Oh, dear! What will Leon Wolf think?Erick Erickson complains that the Obama administration is going to give waivers to corporations to mitigate the "devastating effects of Obamacare." Brian Simpson complains that very few people will opt for the high risk pools created by health care reform (without mentioning, of course, that high risk pools were also proposed by Republicans). Ben Domenech complains that "HHS has missed one-third of the deadlines contained within the legislation for the first six months under Obama’s new health care regime." Brian Simpson compiled a short laundry list of problems, ranging from the refusal by some insurance companies to issue child-only insurance policies to 3M's decision to reimburse retirees' purchase of health insurance rather than sponsoring a health care plan for them.

Of course, had health care reform not been watered down, perhaps none of these problems would have surfaced. Maybe those waivers would not have been necessary. Certainly the high risk pools wouldn't have been necessary. Single-payer was the best solution, but Democrats took it off the table at the very beginning.

Ezra Klein gave us a reality check this morning. Health care reform will bring an end to practices that ought to end. One of the complains Brian Simpson makes is that health care reform will bring an end to McDonald's "mini-med" coverage. This is actually a good thing. According to Klein, Sen. Chuck Grassley actually called McDonald's mini-med coverage "not better than nothing." "The point of health-care reform," writes Klein, "was to get people into real insurance and protect them from illusory plans that run out when they get sick." The consequence of health care reform, according to Klein, will be
a vastly better health-care system, where 32 million more people have coverage and where tens of millions of more are in far better plans than they would've had without the law. But that will require changes in some of the worst plans, and on the part of some of the worst employers and insurers.
Which is worse: the coming changes, or the status quo?

RedState bloggers complain about these changes, but from the fact that changes are coming, it doesn't follow that catastrophe is on the horizon. And if Republicans really are worried, rather than calling for the repeal of health care reform, they ought to be calling for strengthening it.

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson