Here is a devastating critique of the idea of healthcare co-ops in place of a true public option (via Tim Foley at Change.org):
President Barack Obama has told Americans to be skeptical of reports of an end to the recession, saying the downturn has “many more months” to run. Given the recent retail sales data, Americans seem to be listening to their economist-in-chief.
(Lightly microblogging from the Great White North)
I think it is hilarious that the protesters get criticized for being uninformed about an uber-compliated plan that has been marketed in talking points and catch phrases. How dare they! This administration loves complicated, only-an-economist-could-love approaches.
Bruce Bartlett makes several good points about slapping a surtax on wealthier Americans to pay for expanding healthcare coverage: 1) breaks the linkage between the taxes people pay and the benefits they receive; 2) won’t actually generate enough dough to pay for reform; 3) ignores the vast tax subsidy for high-end health plans. Other than that, it is a super idea.
Arnold Kling rightly notes that only left-of-center ideas are being considered for healthcare reform. I find this particularly weird since I’ve read about company after company coming up with interesting healthcare innovations. Here is Kling:
Time for a political reality check. Government-run public health insurance that competes with private plans — a Democratic dream since President Truman suggested it in 1945 — may not be dead for now on Capitol Hill, but its vital signs are awfully faint.