Hacker: Health Bill "A Step" Towards HCR
Jacob Hacker, the intellectual popularizer of the "public option" idea, argues that he "believes" in the Senate health bill as a step towards reform, yet argues:
If it does not deliver--if the new options offered through the exchange do not attract broad enrollment, if insurers continue to undermine health security with impunity--then the worst fears of progressives will come true. [. . .] And Americans will become increasingly disillusioned with the promise of reform.
[MORE . . .]
Progressives have good reason to be angry. Yet we should harness our anger to fix the bill--now and every year from now. The current bills in Congress do too little to help Americans immediately; their main actions are delayed for years. If and when legislation passes, progressives should demand immediate concrete actions to make the promise of a reform a reality more quickly and more effectively.
So a bill must pass. Yet it must be a better bill that passes. And it must be understood by the President, the Congress and every American as only a step--an important but ultimately incomplete step--toward the vital goal that the campaign for the public option embodied: good affordable health care for every American.
(Emphasis supplied.) The problem with this analysis is it does not really present a coherent POLITICAL argument for the next step. I have argued for sunsetting the mandates precisely because I do not see an impetus for a next step without such a provision. Hacker does not address that point. His piece strikes me as an unrealistic appraisal of the current bill and the prospects for real reform in the future.
Speaking for me only
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