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POLITICS: Jonathan Cohn confesses on the Obama 15 million problem

Apparently the 15m uninsured in Obama’s plan are all Jonathan Cohn’s fault. At least the picking up on that number by Hillary and Edwards in the debates, that is.

I’m still struggling with how Obama is correctly to the left of those guys on the only foreign policy that really matters but in a foolish place on health care. Anyone relying on David Cutler for advice on health care must be seriously internally conflicted over what the aim is! After all Cutler seems to be too.

More on that to come later this week; but my explanation is that Obama shares my belief that health reform is impossible in 2009—so why bother?

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  1. Cohn’s honesty is refreshing. The policy work producing the 15 million number was very sloppy. The reality is that no-one knows how effective the mandates will be in reducing the number of uninsured. The Massachusetts mandates may leave half of the target population uncovered! The key to the effectiveness of mandates- what it actually costs for people to get care. A criticism of Clinton’s plan is that after you achieve mental health “parity”, community rating and guaranteed issue, and lord knows what other worthy causes sneak in there, it will take massive subsidies to make the resulting mandated benefit affordable for a large number of people. You cannot just mandate coverage- you have to define what an eligible benefit package is- when the real circus will start.
    And of course, the biggest joke for the Democrats- the more than 10 million non-citizens among the 47 million uninsured. If they cannot get them drivers’ licenses, good luck on health insurance. Don’t believe any numbers thrown out by any of the campaigns on “universal coverage”- it’s all rhetorical bullshit at this stage of the contest.

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