But get ready for the break: Unlike the McCain health care plan, the Burr/Coburn/Ryan/Nunes proposal does not leave individuals to fend for themselves on the individual market. This was the McCain plan's fatal flaw. The individual market is cruel, unpredictable, and expensive. The Patient Choice Act does not repeat it.It's the last graph I disagree with.
Instead, all those people who would be purchasing health insurance on their own under the McCain plan purchase it together under the Patient's Choice Act. States are tasked with creating insurance marketplaces where consumers can easily compare different insurers, regulating insurers so they don't make money by making health coverage unaffordable for sick people, regulating insurance products so they meet some minimum standard of comprehensiveness (serious wonks: This is the standard. Go nuts.), and creating automatic enrollment provisions that encourage more people to purchase health coverage.
Are there problems with the proposal? Yes. Big ones. The minimum benefit package is too stingy. There aren't sufficient subsidies for low-income consumers. The plan controls costs by encouraging people to purchase less comprehensive insurance. That's fine until people fall comprehensively ill. It has a tendency to mistake a health care policy paper for the Sean Hannity Variety Hour and say crazy things like "the Federal government would run a health care system — or a public plan option — with the compassion of the IRS, the efficiency of the post office, and the incompetence of Katrina."
But it's still a step forward for the Republican Party. It's an admission that individuals can't go it alone. That the state has a large and important regulatory role to play. The business model of insurers is not simply broken but actively cruel. A Republican Party that accepts the principles of this plan is a Republican Party that is much likelier to accept the principles of Obama's eventual plan.Yeah, see, Ezra still thinks the GOP is going to eventually break down, rebel against El Rushbo, and make serious policy decisions WITH Obama rather than against him.
Nothing could be further from the truth. Two things here. One is the fact that as I've explained before, the GOP Plan means no Obamacare can pass. If it does, the GOP is politically toast. It would be a watershed, a paradigm shift, that would give control of Congress to the Democrats for a generation. They're not going to allow that.
Second is the fact that it's Evan F'ckin Bayh and the ConservaDems that are going to kill Obamacare, not the Republicans. The sensible centrist assholes will realize they can get anything they want in order to get this to pass, and they will in turn weaken the bill so badly that not only will it sink under the weight of its own suckitude, they will turn around and vote against it anyway when it becomes clear that the resulting nightmare piece of legislation has no real hope of providing health care for anyone, thus saying they stopped Obama's huge mistake. It will also have nothing to do with the multi-billion dollar Big Pharma lobby, either.
Pratical upshot is the Republicans have to have a credible alternative in order to kill Obamacare, and they know it will give political cover to the ConservaDems as well. It's nothing more than an opportunity to say "Well, we Republicans have a health care plan, but Obama rejected it out of hand. They're not bi-partisan at all, the rotten cheaters!" Then they will work with the ConservaDems to kill it. Period. I can see this coming from miles away, and I honestly can't believe Ezra Klein can't see this.
The plan makes it more likely that Republicans will accept Obama's government solution to health care? That's laughable. If the GOP allows Obama to pass health care, they are basically done as a party. Democrats will have the votes for years (same thing applies to immigration reform...Bush wanted millions of new Hispanic voters and signing comprehensive immigration reform would have given the GOP that majority they were looking for. Now Obama realizes he can get the same thing.)
Don't trust these jackals. They will never allow Obamacare to pass. "We come not to praise Obamacare, but to bury it."