Yes, that headline is a blatant attempt to get some of the opprobrium Malkin and her nutty commenters are venting on Jon Cohn and Erza Klein.
A little background. Jon, being the sensible moderate, wrote a good article on why the SCHIP veto helps Universal Health Care, and then pointed out that the smearing of the kid from Baltimore whom the Dems put up to support S-CHIP was a dumb idea with lots on the far right failing to do basic fact checking. In fact the family in question was exactly the type that S-CHIP needs to help
In the NY Times today Paul Krugman puts this all into a little more narrow perspective. Suggesting that sliming Graeme Frost–the 12 year old kid in question, is just standard operating procedure for the Rush Limbaugh-types on the right, who have a pretty direct line into the Republican machine.
But here’s what amazes me. Some of us think that Malkin–who wants apparently to intern
Muslims, immigrants and leftists–could probably spend a little time
thinking about that test where you design how the world ought to treat
people on the chance that you could come back in the next world as one
of those types of people.
But while Malkin is unlikely to be interned, she did apparently find
out that for an independent writer getting health insurance is tough.
But she’s happy that she was eventually able to get Golden Rule. While
she may not understand concepts such as underwriting and pre-existing
conditions, and how they might impact, say, families with kids with
brain injuries, perhaps someone could help her?
For example, an
"anonymous academic" who wrote on this blog a few years back.
At the time the "academic" said this about while complaining about insurance reforms in Washington State in the
late 1990s (guaranteed issue, community rating, 3-month waiting period
for coverage of pre-existing conditions):
Prior to the reforms, the individual market in Washington
functioned reasonably well, although admittedly the situation was not
very good for someone who got hurt or sick while uninsured. I don’t see
how this problem can be avoided in a voluntary insurance market. If (a)
people can choose whether to buy insurance and (b) there are few or no
adverse consequences for getting sick while uninsured, then (c) few
people will bother to buy insurance until they get sick.
There were few serious consequences to being uninsured. If
you got sick, you could get coverage in just 3 months with no
underwriting. I do think there are some problems with the individual
market, but I definitely do not think that guaranteed issue, community
rating, etc, are the right way to solve those problems.
At the time I replied:
Now I’m going to have to agree and disagree with the Academic.
He is right. Individual health insurance CAN NOT work as a market if
the insurer has any idea who they’re insuring OR if the individual has
the choice to buy or not buy insurance. Both of them lead to one
extreme–sick people being unable to get insurance–or the other–the
adverse selection that kills companies that are compelled to offer
insurance to the sick, as under those Washington State reforms.
And of course Golden Rule, now part of United Healthgroup but better known as the insurer that is the bete noir cream-skimmer
& underwriter in the individual market, is the definition of the
insurer that exacerbates the huge problems with the individual market.
Malkin is very lucky that she got coverage. Of course if she or her
husband had had any medical problems they would have been SOL in terms
of getting coverage at all.
But apparently it’s OK to attack the family of a 12 year old kid
which represents a wide swath of people who cannot get affordable
insurance–because they take it from the state.
The "Anonymous Academic" can probably explain to Malkin why the
individual market is such a mess. Who knows; he might even contemplate
some government regulation and intervention to sort out the screwed-up
dynamics of the individual market. Anyone rational knows that it
requires mandates for all to buy in advance and for insurers to offer
community rating to all comers. That’s where the sensible folk on the
right are ending up (Heritage, Reggie Herzlinger et al).
And if Malkin wants a more informed opinion, I’m sure she can track the "academic" down somehow.