Ross Douthat is tracking some libs who are now free to tell us what they really think about the new health bill:
Last week, Reihan Salam predicted the appearance, among left-of-center writers, of “thoughtful, honest assessments of flaws in the Affordable Health Care for America Act that were largely overlooked” during the beat-the-Republicans phase of the debate. Now John Cassidy, The New Yorker’s financial writer, has delivered an impressive two-part contribution to the genre. Cassidy supports the health care bill on moral grounds, but he has deep doubts about its fiscal sustainability. On this front, he makes two points that many right-of-center wonks have been hammering on for a while now. First, the individual mandate is “a bit of a sham,” and lots and lots of people will probably just pay the modest fine (or dodge it) until they get sick, at which point they’ll show up demanding their guaranteed insurance policy, sending costs skyrocketing. Second, the subsidies for the individual market are so much more generous than the existing tax deduction for employer-provided health care that employers will have an enormous incentive to offload their employees onto the new exchanges
The example is shockingly simple and so accessible that even a Democratic Congressman could probably understand it.
Ross closes with this non-mystery:
I should note that Cassidy expressed similar doubts before the legislation passed, penning what he called “some vaguely heretical thoughts on health-care reform” back in November. What puzzles me is why an enterprising editor at The New Yorker didn’t suggest turning those thoughts into an actual magazine feature, instead of just letting them gather moss on Cassidy’s blog.
I don't think he is really puzzled.
AND IN THE LONG RUN: In the long run we are all dead, but before we die we may see the unfolding of the Dem's subtle plan. In Phase 1 the link between employment and insurance is severed (that, we like), based on the economic described above. Most people other than some high earners will expect to get their insurance from the government, with a subsidy.
Phase II eliminates the middleman - the Demon Insurers are cut back and we move on to modified single payer. High earners who have been paying for their insurance all along will still have the right to buy private insurance, but folks receiving subsidies will be offered either the public plan or the public plan.