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I used to have great respect for Paul Krugman, but I can't figure out what his agenda is.  Why does he hate Obama so much?  And why is he shredding the coalition for universal healthcare by turning mandates for health insurance -- a historically conservative idea -- into a litmus test issue for progressives?

The most disturbing thing about his column in today's NY Times is that he's dead wrong.  A mandate without enforcement, which is what Clinton's plan proposes, won't cover any more people than Obama's plan.  Over 90 of the nation's most prominent health policy scholars recently signed a letter to this effect (I've reprinted the letter with the names of the signers at the bottom.)  Krugman is just picking the experts who agree  with him - but the balance of opinion is that mandates don't matter.

Now, Clinton says she's going to "enforce" her mandate.  But if we're going to look at what she says (as opposed to what's in her plan,) then we should look at what Obama says too.  He says he's willing to implement a mandate if we're able to lower healthcare costs first.  So there's no big difference.

The big picture is that every prior attempt to enact universal health care has failed because we haven't been able to hold the coalition together - not because we haven't been able to figure out the public policies that would get it done.   And now Paul Krugman and Hillary Clinton are doing more than anyone else in America to shred the coalition for universal healthcare by turning on their own allies.  

Barack Obama is on record as being committed to universal healthcare within his first term.  He has a different idea about how we should get there: lower costs first, then he'll consider a mandate.  

I happen to be be for mandates, but there at least two progressive arguments to be made for doing it Obama's way:

1. Historically, individual mandates are a conservative idea.

Mandates for insurance have never been a cornerstone of progressivism.  In fact, Krugman himself was lukewarm about Arnold Schwarzenegger's mandate-based plan when he wrote about it last January: select.nytimes.com/.../12krugman.html.  When did the individual mandate suddenly become the best idea in health policy?  As a tactical matter, we're ceding ground to conservatives when we embrace mandates for health insurance.

2. Mandates are fiscally regressive.  

Progressives can make a good case that we shouldn't support them for the same reason that we don't support regressive taxation.  For example MA caps its subsidies at 300% of the federal poverty line.  That means that a family earning about $62,000 would have to may at least $8000 a year for bare bones, high-deductible coverage (according to the MA health connector website) or a $4000 penalty.  That's unconscionable.  Alternatively, you can exempt people who can't pay.  MA has done precisely this, exempting some 20% of its uninsured population.  If you project that percentage nationally, that's about 9.4 million people.  The point is that there is an anguishing choice here -- and you can't just wish it away.  You also shouldn't give Hillary a free pass on her plan, which would almost certain leave people uninsured -- possibly 10 million, but we won't know until she tells us how she'll enforce the mandate and how many she'll exempt.

Take it a step further.  Let's say that low-income Americans who don't qualify for a subsidy have to purchase insurance and this drives them into an even more financialy precarious situation.  All the data suggests that socioeconomic status is a more powerful determinant of health outcomes than access to medical care.  This means that a mandate could leave low income Americans far worse off.

Here's my bottom line: Mandate or no mandate, we have to keep the coalition for universal healthcare together.  This shouldn't be a litmus test issue for progressives.It makes no sense to attack Obama as being opposed to universal health when he's on record as being for universal healthcare (and for single-payer, if we were starting from scratch,) and when there's a legitimate policy debate within the progressive movement on mandates.  

We need to stop giving Hillary Clinton and Paul Krugman a free pass for attacking fellow progressives.

Lastly, here's that letter signed by more than 90 health policy experts debunking the Clinton/Krugman mandate claim.  

The leading Democratic and Republican candidates for president have proposed major changes to our health care system. These proposals are worthy of serious consideration. Rising medical costs threaten our country's long-term fiscal stability. And our failure to provide health insurance to 47 million Americans is cause for shame.

As this year's competitive primary election season builds to a climax, arguments within each party are bound to become heated. As candidates seek a competitive edge, it is natural to magnify small differences. But if the political debate over health reform is to inform Americans about the choices we face, it should be grounded on facts.

The remarkably similar health plans proposed by Senators Clinton and Obama have the potential to reduce the number of uninsured Americans (citizens, permanent residents, and others lawfully present in the U.S.) to two percent or less of the population. Achieving this goal would require full implementation of these plans' subsidies and insurance market reforms, plus robust outreach efforts to get everyone to sign up for coverage.

The necessary outreach will not be easy, and it will be fruitless unless health insurance is made affordable and accessible to all. Some believe that an individual mandate to buy health insurance should be part of this effort; others hold that a mandate would be paternalistic or too onerous for families at the margins of affordability. Regardless of our feelings on this issue, what is clear from the evidence is that mandates alone, without strong incentives to comply and harsh punishments for violation, will have little impact on the number of uninsured Americans.1 Indeed, as the Massachusetts experience illustrates, non-compliance with mandates is a large problem, absent harsh sanctions. There is simply no factual basis for the assertion that an individual mandate, by itself, would result in coverage for 15 million more Americans than would robust efforts to make health care more affordable and accessible.

The inaccurate claim that an individual mandate alone would reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 15 million draws attention away from the challenges we must surmount to make good medical care available to all. These challenges include adequate public subsidies, insurance market reform, outreach to people at the margins of American life, and long-term control of medical costs. Individual mandates may have a role in health care reform, but there is risk of a specious "Mission Accomplished" moment. It is a time for rolling up our sleeves and addressing the hard work required to get everyone care. The central challenge is to make health insurance affordable and accessible, and to reach out to all Americans to help them obtain coverage. Voters should insist that candidates for president address these very real issues.

1 S.A. Glied, J. Hartz, and G. Giorgi, "Consider It Done? The Likely Efficacy Of Mandates For Health Insurance," Health Affairs 26 (2007): 1612-1621.

Signers:

Stuart Altman
Dean and Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy
Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University

M. Gregg Bloche, MD, JD
Professor of Law
Georgetown University
Non-Resident Senior Fellow
The Brookings Institution
Adjunct Professor
Bloomberg School of Public Health
Johns Hopkins University

Nicholas A. Christakis, MD, PhD, MPH
Professor
Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School
Department of Sociology
Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Harvard University

David Matchar, MD
Professor of Medicine
Director, Center for Clinical Health Policy Research
Duke University Medical Center

E. Richard Brown, PhD
Professor of Health Policy
UCLA School of Public Health

Henry J. Aaron
Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
The Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Chair
The Brookings Institution
Paul Weiler
Emeritus Professor of Law
Harvard Law School

Elliott S. Fisher, MD, MPH
Professor of Medicine and Community and Family Medicine
Director, Center for Health Policy Research
Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice.

Harold Pollack, MPP, PhD
Faculty Chair, Center for Health Administration Studies
Associate Professor
School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago

Lainie Friedman Ross, MD, PhD
Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum Professor of Clinical Ethics
Professor, Departments of Pediatrics, Medicine, and Surgery
Associate Director, MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
University of Chicago

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP
Director, Institute for Health Policy
Physician, Massachusetts General Hospital
Samuel O. Thier Professor of Medicine
Harvard Medical School
Professor of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

Theodore Marmor, PhD
Professor Emeritus of Public Policy and Management
Professor Emeritus of Political Science
Yale School of Management

Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH
University Distinguished Professor
Johns Hopkins University

Paula Lantz, PhD
Professor and Chair
Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Michigan

Mark Schlesinger, PhD
Professor of Health Policy
Yale University

Nancy L. Keating, MD, MPH
Associate Professor of Medicine and Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

Gerald F. Kominski, PhD
Associate Dean for Academic Programs
Professor, Department of Health Services
UCLA School of Public Health

Diane S. Lauderdale
Associate Professor
Department of Health Studies
University of Chicago

David Cutler
Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics
Harvard University

Einer Elhauge
Petrie Professor of Law
Director, Petrie-Flom Center in Health Law Policy
Harvard Law School

Kathleen A Cagney
Associate Professor
Department of Health Studies
University of Chicago

Ronald S. Sullivan Jr.
Clinical Professor of Law
Director, Harvard Criminal Justice Institute
Harvard Law School

Henry J. Steiner
Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor Emeritus
Harvard Law School

Martha Minow
Jeremiah Smith, Jr. Professor
Harvard Law School

Jerry Mashaw, PhD
Sterling Professor of Law and Management
Yale University

Laurie Zoloth, PhD
Director, Center for Bioethics, Science and Society
Director, Brady Program in Ethics and Leadership
Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics
Feinberg School of Medicine
Northwestern University

Dayna Bowen Matthew
Associate Dean of Academic Affairs
Professor of Law
University of Colorado School of Law

Elizabeth Bartholet
Morris Wasserstein Professor of Law
Faculty Director, Child Advocacy Program
Harvard Law School

Ellen Meara, PhD
Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

Donald E. Fry, MD, FACS
Professor Emeritus
Department of Surgery
University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Mark E. Courtney
Ballmer Endowed Chair for Child Well-Being
School of Social Work
University of Washington

Jacqueline Fox
Assistant Professor
School of Law
University of South Carolina

Oliver Oldman
Learned Hand Professor of Law, Emeritus
Harvard Law School

Jane Loewenson
Partner
Nueva Vista Group LLC

Laurence H. Tribe
Carl M. Loeb University Professor
Harvard Law School

Thaddeus Mason Pope, JD, PhD
Visiting Professor, Widener University School of Law
Senior Scholar, Thomas Jefferson University Medical College
Assistant Professor of Law
University of Memphis School of Law

Mervin Shalowitz, MD Visiting Scholar
Kellogg School of Management
Northwestern University

Barbara A. Noah
Associate Professor
Western New England College School of Law

William Pitsenberger
Adjunct Professor, Health Law and Policy
Washburn University School of Law

Philip J. Rosenthal
Professor
Department of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

Sarah-Anne Schumann, MD
Clinical Associate
Department of Family Medicine
University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Chicago Family Health Center

Daniel H. Lowenstein, MD
Professor of Neurology
Director, Physician-Scientist Education and Training Programs
University of California, San Francisco

Jonathan Skinner, PhD
Professor
Dartmouth College & Medical School

Robin Henry Dretler MD, FIDSA
President
Infectious Disease Specialists of Atlanta

Laurel Coleman, MD, CMD, FACP
Physician
Augusta, Maine

Ann M Labriola, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Division of Infectious Diseases
Department of Medicine
George Washington University Medical Center

Jens Ludwig
Professor of Social Service Administration, Law, and Public Policy
University of Chicago

Norman Daniels
Professor of Ethics and Population Health
Harvard School of Public Health

Donald H. Taylor, Jr. Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Public Policy
Duke University

Colleen Grogan
Faculty Director, Graduate Program on Health Administration and Policy
Associate Professor
School of Social Service Administration
University of Chicago

Leon Wyszewianski, PhD
Associate Professor
Director, Executive Master's Program
Department of Health Management and Policy
University of Michigan School of Public Health

John Henning Schumann, MD
Section of General Internal Medicine
MacLean Center for Clinical Medical Ethics
Human Rights Program
University of Chicago

Michael Pine
Lecturer in Medicine
University of Chicago

Wade S. Smith, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology
University of California, San Francisco

Keith W.L. Rafal, MD, MPH
Assistant Clinical Professor
Brown University Medical School

Bob Arnold
Professor of Medicine
Leo H Criep Chair in Patient Care
Chief, Section of Palliative care and Medical Ethics
University of Pittsburgh

James Tulsky, MD
Professor of Medicine and Nursing
Duke University

William M. Altman, JD, MA
Senior Vice President of Strategy and Public Policy
Kindred Healthcare, Inc.

Rebekah E. Gee, MD, MPH
Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar
University of Pennsylvania

Clarissa K. Wittenberg
Health Education Consultant

Jason Block, MD
Physician
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Harlan M. Krumholz, MD SM
Harold H. Hines, Jr. Professor of Medicine
Yale University

S. Claiborne Johnston, MD, PhD
Professor of Neurology and Epidemiology
Director, Stroke Service
University of California, San Francisco

Richard Kronick
Professor
Department of Family and Preventive Medicine
University of California, San Diego

Maggie Czarnogorski, MD
George Washington University
Carl Vogel Center, Medical Director

Howard P. Forman MD, MBA
Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Management, and Public Health
Lecturer, Economics
Director, Yale MD/MBA Program and Yale MBA for Executives: Leadership In Healthcare
Yale University

William Terry, MD
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Rahul Rajkumar, MD, JD
Physician
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Frederick A Masoudi, MD, MSPH
Associate Professor of Medicine (Cardiology)
Denver Health Medical Center
University

David A. Richardson
Health Care Consultant

Helen Levy, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
University of Michigan

Robert Burt, JD, MA
Professor
Yale Law School

David B. Wilkins
Kirkland & Ellis Professor of Law
Director Program on the Legal Profession
Harvard Law School

Gene Webb, PhD
Manager of Planning
Biological Sciences Division
Pritzker School of Medicine
University of Chicago

Nikhil Wagle, MD
Physician
Brigham and Women's Hospital

Clifford E. Douglas, JD
Executive Director, University of Michigan Tobacco Research Network
Adjunct Lecturer, University of Michigan School of Public Health
Senior Policy Fellow, Michigan Public Health Institute

Thomas G. McGuire
Professor of Health Economics
Department of Health Care Policy
Harvard Medical School

Robert A. Berenson, MD
Senior Fellow
The Urban Institute

Stanley S. Wallack
Professor
Heller School for Social Policy and Management
Brandeis University

Charles J. Ogletree, Jr.
Jesse Climenko Professor of Law,
Harvard Law School

Jon Klein, MD, PhD
James Graham Brown Foundation Endowed Chair in Proteomics
University of Louisville

Sara Rosenbaum
Chair, Department of Health Policy
Harold and Jane Hirsh Professor of Health Law and Policy
Professor of Health Care Sciences
George Washington University

John C. Coates IV
John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics
Harvard Law School

Peter J. Hammer
Professor of Law
Wayne State University Law School

Meredith B. Rosenthal, PhD
Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy
Department of Health Policy and Management
Harvard School of Public Health

Barron H. Lerner, MD, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Public Health
Columbia University

Lucian L. Leape, MD Harvard School of Public Health

Kasturi Haldar
Charles E. and Emma H. Morrison Professor
Department of Pathology
Northwestern University    

Originally posted to Jayaprakash Narayan on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:29 AM PST.

Poll

Who do you think is more likely to be able to achieve universal healthcare?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tipjar (217+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BrooklynBoy, aisling, Sean Robertson, Chi, Upper West, anonymousL, steveGA, eugene, deben, anju, Dounia, Better Days, Adam B, neonplaq, Jeff Simpson, dscowboy, dbratl, TrueBlueMajority, Powered Grace, RNinNC, billlaurelMD, nussbaumski, maddercow, bawbie, TX Unmuzzled, fightcentristbias, acuppajo, TampaProgressive, theran, object16, Joe B, bumblebums, nightsweat, Dumbo, rasbobbo, DAVE DIAL, MD patriot, metal prophet, peace voter, truegreencore, highacidity, AlyoshaKaramazov, vmibran, DesertCat, dgb, javelina, peraspera, slangist, Bronxist, Glinda, FriendlyNeighbor, dmsilev, bejammin075, OutOfManyOne, kosophile, Oke, terryhutchinson, businessdem, Chicago Lulu, leevank, QuestionableSanity, Fyodor, lezlie, cosette, lizah, defluxion10, cato, Catte Nappe, betson08, lecsmith, valadon, pat208, brendanm98, rapala, Pokerdad, jrooth, cheeto, JanetT in MD, dantes, jhutson, truong son traveler, The Third Man, NeuvoLiberal, lennysfo, FrostyKotex, Sharon in MD, chicagovigilante, Inland, dcreba, kyrol, sick of it all, mozlover, sunbro, onanyes, Aint Supposed to Die a Natural Death, serrano, LithiumCola, Ekaterin, TMP, zozie, begone, Prof Dave, dus7, Showman, PointGuard, gwilson, Icy, BobzCat, tarheelblue, Keone Michaels, RustyBrown, Aliosman, BlueInARedState, jeffman, cotasm, watch out for snakes, earwulf, Wary, chrisRunner7, Preston S, Andy30tx, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, frankzappatista, Compostings, bstotts, Lurtz, Nulwee, bigchin, Tamar, pgm 01, YoyogiBear, malik5470, hockeyrules, Gravedugger, jhecht, Cottagerose, Great Uncle Bulgaria, Zippity, KateinIL, Ticonderoga, Jimdotz, silent no more, vbdietz, sqz23, citydem, journeyman, Puffin, scardanelli, phaeretic, Empower Ink, MKinTN, somtam, condorcet, WahooMatt, ShadowSD, TomY, NotGeorgeWill, I, juancito, brklyngrl, globalvgn, steveng82, limpidglass, young montana voter, chicagorich, swalker007, Happy Days, Mardish, pamelabrown, SuperCameron, karpaty, Quicksilver2723, Mystylplx, clew74, tsqd, LCA, luckylizard, echatwa, joy sinha, a night owl, omegajew, little liberal, allie123, billybam, bluegrass50, oldliberal, BrockAun, ryangoesboom, Tom Enever, bhagamu, Danish Brethren, cybrestrike, pwr2thepeople, hannahlk, Unseen majority, Big Blue Colorado, bmozaffari, vaughan, ManahManah, astoria gooner, Moonwood, Mojo Jojo, leftneck, IowaCubs, citicenx, jenontheshore, a wolf raised by boys, forestgreen, Jen K in FLA, Rorgg, tampa traveler, history geek, mrchumchum, markhaverty, Jussi Laaksonen, Meng Bomin, jdmccuistion
      •  I second that (23+ / 0-)

        This is such a low tactic. It's as if the Clinton campaign (can we not call Krugman a surrogate by now?) is attempting to hold one of the most cherished progressive goals hostage for political ambition... vote for me, or the universal health care gets it!

        And it would be one thing if it wasn't so fricking disingenuous. I am personally opposed to mandates, as per the HRC plan currently, and I am also very pro universal health care.

        In addition, would it not be much easier to achieve universal health care with a larger congressional majority (a sure side effect of an Obama nomination - huge coattails)?

        And if this way that HRC is going about getting her health care plan accomplished, by deceiving, then we'll probably just see a repeat of the early 90's.

        During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

        by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:53:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why do you think Sen Clinton proposes mandates? (12+ / 0-)

          It would be so much easier not to, no?

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:19:58 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

            •  And Thanks for the Reminder (19+ / 0-)
              And I'd like to thank Jayaprakash Narayan for reminding me why we shouldn't vote for Obama on Tuesday.

              I'd been caught up in the good feelings over the weekend.

              Just say no to anyone trying to get the Democratic nomination by running Harry and Louise ads and attacking universal healthcare.

              •  hello pot (7+ / 0-)

                Just say no to anyone trying to get the Democratic nomination by running Harry and Louise ads and attacking universal healthcare.

                A bit late in the game to call foul on a particular line of attack, isn't it?

                During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:02:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Maybe Sabotaging UHC is OK with You... (18+ / 0-)
                  A bit late in the game to call foul on a particular line of attack, isn't it?

                  Maybe you don't give a shit about whether or not we get universal healthcare in the next administration or not, buddy, but I've watched two of my friends die from lack of healthcare coverage, and I do care.

                  As Krugman correctly writes today:

                  If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance -- nobody knows how big -- that we'll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won't happen.

                  I'm a single issue voter on universal healthcare, and I'm voting for anybody but Obama, which ends up being Hillary Clinton.

                  Just say no to Obama's cowardice and moral bankruptcy.

                  •  yeah (10+ / 0-)

                    I'm sorry about your friends. But Krugman is wrong in his conclusions and reasoning. And this is a last desperate attack by a flailing Clinton campaign.

                    And btw, what about my friend who died in Iraq?

                    UHC wouldn't have done shit for him.

                    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                    by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:10:24 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your Choice (15+ / 0-)
                      I understand that you don't give a shit about the 45 million Americans without healthcare.  That's your morally bankrupt choice.

                      What's Barack Obama's excuse?

                      I'm not a fan of Senator Clinton, but I'll be damned if I let my voice be counted with folks who don't give a shit about social justice like you and our diarist here.

                      So I'll vote for Senator Clinton despite my misgivings.

                      I can forgive many things, but Democrats trying to sabotage universal healthcare is NOT one of those things I can forgive.

                      •  my condolences about your friends (6+ / 0-)

                        but I highly doubt they died because no one forced them to buy health insurance.

                        www.barackobama.com

                        by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:30:38 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  You Don't Have a Fucking Clue Why They Died (6+ / 3-)
                          My friends died because they had no healthcare when they got sick.

                          You don't care about such things because you're as morally bankrupt as the Obama campaign.

                          We just differ on that particular point.  You're opposed to universal healthcare and I'm in favor of universal healthcare.  

                          You support Barack Obama because you don't give a shit about the 45 million Americans without healthcare.  

                          I'm voting for anyone but Barack Obama because I'm not willing to support his political cowardice.

                          •  did I say I had a clue as to why they died? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Andy30tx, dreamghost

                            No, I didn't.

                            www.barackobama.com

                            by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:11:48 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But they wouldn't have joined if they could? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Pegasus

                            You're saying that only if they were forced to join would they have gotten health care?

                          •  Flubber, personal insults, calling someone you (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            FrostyKotex

                            don't even know "morally bankrupt" is out of line.

                            Hope gives you the courage and energy to take action! (Hopelessness is defeatist.)

                            by Happy Days on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:35:06 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  But Obama would have made insurance available (0+ / 0-)

                            and affordable to them.  That's probably what they really needed... not someone to make them buy it.

                          •  Except that without mandates (0+ / 0-)

                            It's impossible to keep down costs. I'll just quote myself because I'm too lazy to repeat my argument:

                            Without mandates, it's estimated (by all reasonable economists) that half of all presently uninsured adults would opt out of coverage in the belief that they can save money by gambling on their good health. This would leave the only sickest of the remaining uninsured adults opting for single-payer coverage (the Medicare-like option). This would render the single-payer option unaffordable for the uninsured that want coverage without heavy subsidies from the federal government. As a result, even though the single-payer option spends only 2-3% of its expenses on administrative overhead as opposed to a rate of 20-30% in the private insurance sector, it would still be either (A) unaffordable to those in need, or (B) deemed a failure by the American public because of its costs.

                            And yes, I have read all of Obama's proposals for lowering cost care costs (some of which are the same proposals that Newt Gingrich made over 13 years ago), and yes, I have studied the theories of the "behavioral economists" (i.e., repackaged neoliberal economists) who crafted Obama's health care plan. I simply do not share their faith that by "liberating" market forces and "incentivizing" rational decision-making, health care costs will go down.

                          •  One step at a time, Inky (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aethern

                            Krugman is wrong to even fantasize that Congress will pass Hillary's plan anyway.  The first step is to make the insurance available to everyone.  Then, if lots of people try to free ride and the insurance is too expensive, we address that.  Then people will have seen the problem and will be ready to address it.  Before they see for themselves that the problem exists, they will just get whipped into a frenzy by Republicans about how they are forced to buy health insurance, even tho most of them won't be in that position (like they care about estate taxes that none of them will ever pay).  Congress will never include mandates in the bill until the country has had a chance to experience why they are necessary.  If HRC is president and pushes very hard for that, it will undermine our chances of getting anything passed.  The insurance industry WILL do a full-court press again.

                            You think the Obama ad is bad?  It's nothing to what will come.

                          •  It is true ... (0+ / 0-)

                            that I am impatient for universal health care. I don't think we'll ever get universal health care under Obama, and I'm driven to distraction by his constant willingness to accede to the right-wing's framing of issues. It bothered me when I read The Audacity of Hope, and it bothers me even more when I read his Harry and Louis mailer.

                            I agree with Edwards. Obama is a conciliator, and we're not going to get the changes this coutnry desparately needs though concilation.

                            Krugman is wrong to even fantasize that Congress will pass Hillary's plan anyway.

                            You may be right about that. But then why do I even bother giving money to Democratic candidates? Why do I even bother spending time on this site? It's a fool's errand. The Democratic party will never be strong enough to fight for the kind of changes that I want to see happen in my lifetime.

                          •  Dems will be better on so many things (0+ / 0-)

                            Energy independence, repealing the Bush tax cuts, getting us out of Iraq, staying out of stupid oil-based wars in the future, staying away from nuclear power (which the other side only wants so the next form of energy can also be controlled by a small cabal of wealthy, powerful men), saving Social security and NOT privatizing (eviscerating) it, getting our fiscal house in order, negotiating trade agreements, protecting our privacy, appointing Supreme Court Justices who believe in the right to privacy... and those are just off the top of my head.

                            Dems will expand health care.  I'm for single payer and getting insane profits of the insurance companies under control, and I think we will get there, but we have to go slowly and fight a PR battle against all the money in the world.  If we overstep, we'll end up going backward.

                            I'm for Obama now because I think he has a much better chance to win.  Hillary will galvanize the far right to vote, and they may not bother if we nominate Obama.  They certainly don't much like McCain.  Also - Obama will boost African American turnout considerably, and that will help us all down ticket.

                          •  So we can chalk you up for a McCain vote... (0+ / 0-)

                            against Obama in the general?
                            wonder how many children he'll cover.

                            Fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous communist plot we have ever had to face.

                            by Mr Littlejeans on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:32:17 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  what about (0+ / 0-)

                            those of us who are part of the 45 million without health insurance AND who also support Obama?  Are we morally bankrupt as well?  Or just idiots, in your view?

                            I can understand your anger (I'm without health coverage & have been for a few years), but I'm not sure your approach here in this thread is going to win over anyone.  And I'm quite sure that HRC isn't going to build the consensus necessary to get her plan enacted.  (Regardless, I think mandates are the wrong way to go.)

                      •  I call bullshit (8+ / 1-)

                        Mark Penn, is that you?

                        Flubber would be an appropriate UID.

                        Good choice.

                        Asshole.

                        During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                        by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:33:54 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  My Opinions on Mark Penn (4+ / 8-)
                          Mark Penn, is that you?

                          You might want to review this diary of mine.

                          Go fuck yourself, you heartless scumbag.

                          •  you first (16+ / 0-)

                            who the hell do you think you are, coming in here and telling everyone they have no morals because they disagree with you on the best method to accomplish the goal we share (achieving UHC)?

                            You don't know me to say any of that shit.

                            I could say more, but you're not worth any more of my time.

                            During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                            by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:56:35 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Share? (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            philgoblue, nasarius, joanneleon
                            because they disagree with you on the best method to accomplish the goal we share (achieving UHC)?

                            Barack Obama is running a campaign against UHC.  It's not a goal he shares.

                            If you're really in favor of UHC, why are you defending Obama's bullshit?

                            As you say, I don't know you.  So I have no idea if you're really opposed to UHC, or if you're just willing to defend Obama no matter what he says.

                            But in either case, you're pretty morally bankrupt.

                          •  mmmmmm (18+ / 0-)

                            This delicious bacon-wrapped meatloaf is enhanced with grated natural Parmesan cheese, Cajun spices, and a tasty barbecue sauce glaze.

                            INGREDIENTS:

                               * 4 strips lean bacon
                               * 2 teaspoons brown sugar, optional
                               * 1 pound lean ground beef
                               * 1/2 pound ground pork
                               * 1 medium onion, finely chopped
                               * 1 red or orange bell pepper, finely chopped
                               * 2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
                               * 1 large egg, slightly beaten
                               * 1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese
                               * 1 teaspoon Cajun seasonings
                               * 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
                               * 1/2 teaspoon salt
                               * 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
                               * 1/3 cup evaporated milk or whole milk
                               * 1/2 cup barbecue sauce

                            PREPARATION:
                            Cut bacon strips in half crosswise and coat with the 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. In a large skillet, cook the sugared bacon for about 2 minutes to render some of the excess fat. Or, cook on a paper plate in the microwave for about 1 minute.

                            Heat oven to 350°.

                            Line a baking pan with foil and lightly oil the foil or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

                            In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, pork, onion, bell pepper, bread crumbs, egg, cheese, Cajun seasonings, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, and milk. Put the mixture on the prepared foil-lined baking pan and shape into a loaf.

                            Spread barbecue sauce over the loaf and arrange the bacon strips over the top.

                            Bake until bacon is crispy and meat loaf is firm, about 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before slicing or moving to a serving platter.
                            Serves 6.

                            During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                            by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:05:07 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Finally! (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright
                            We agree this diary is trollish.  Kumbaya.
                          •  not the diary, homie n/t (8+ / 0-)

                            During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                            by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:08:49 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Posting Etiquette (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            philgoblue, Clem Yeobright
                            Then you might want to review the correct posting etiquette around here.  Posting recipes is traditionally a way to indicate a troll diary.

                            And while this diary is fundamentally wrong and misleading, I wouldn't go so far as to call it a troll diary.

                            The diarist, like you, just doesn't happen to give a shit about the 45 million Americans without healthcare coverage.  That doesn't make him a troll, it just makes him morally bankrupt.

                          •  Posting Etiquette (12+ / 0-)

                            says don't tell other members "Go fuck yourself, you heartless scumbag."  You're a hell of a one to talk about etiquette.

                            Also, saying anyone who supports Obama doesn't "give a shit about the 45 million Americans without healthcare" is just crap.  

                            Even Hillary doesn't claim that Obama's plan does nothing for any of the uninsured.  Her (inflated) claim is that he leaves 15 million uninsured.  Note that the estimate from the linked information in the diary is that Clinton's plan leaves 10 million uninsured.  So what is 2/3 of not giving a shit?  I'd say that puts all you Clinton supporters in exactly the same boat of not giving a shit - at least by your reasoning.

                            Thank you Senator Dodd!

                            by jrooth on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:01:19 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Take a step .... (4+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            bato, jrooth, plum, Tamar

                            .... back from your computers and calm yourselves....

                            Seriously, this is like reading Lucianne.com (I wouldn't recommend it)... with all the name calling and all.

                            "Set fire to the room. Do it now." CJ Cregg

                            by Jen K in FLA on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:04:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  this noise is appropriate (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Aethern

                            from a creature whose passion generated by the idea of forcing lots of people into concentrated insurance programs.

                            mandates, fiats, decrees, mass movement, power over millions. the blood stirs, even a cold fish like HRC is moved by this power. or the chance to grasp it.

                      •  Mandates are political suicide. (5+ / 0-)

                        Mandatory Insurance is a hollow shell of what people think UHC means.

                    •  Krugman is not part of the Clinton campaign (4+ / 0-)

                      Is it that difficult to acknowledge that somebody can not support Obama without being a partisan for Clinton?

                      To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

                      by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:17:44 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  The point (16+ / 0-)

                    is that Paul Krugman is just an economist with a big megaphone.  Economists disagree all the time.  He's wrong in this case.  Clinton supporters don't want to acknowledge that there's any holes in their candidate's health care plan.  And they're willing to be intellectually dishonest about the way they use Krugman's columns to beat every one over the head.

                    That's what's going on here.

                    They're not as committed to universal health care as they think they are if they are not willing to acknowledge that there are some deep flaws in Sen. Clinton's plans.

                    •  according to some on this thread (4+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      cato, jrooth, anduril, word player

                      that must mean they're morally bankrupt, heartless scumbags who like to eat small children...

                      so much for the high road...

                      During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                      by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:21:50 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I didn't say that. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        plum

                        I do resent the Clinton supporters' use of Krugman's columns as a baseball bat to hit everyone over the head with instead of acknowledging that all three Democratic candidates have/had universal health care plans that though they varied in some detail, are based on the same basic skeleton.  Selection of one of those plans over another is not going to doom the nation.

                        •  oh, I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          plum, vbdietz

                          Don't misunderstand. I was referring to a HRC supporter by my comment (and no disrespect to the many reasonable HRC supporters out there - I was only referring to one).

                          During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                          by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:47:00 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  this is a financial issue, not a medical issue (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      natalie902

                      99% of the time people use medical experts to discuss this issue.

                      Medical experts are not familiar with financing, either govt. or insurance financing.   They're experts in the delivery of health care, not the payment or financing of it.  Why do people listen to medical providers on this? What do they know about finance or government, or economics?

                      I started studying this health care system in the 1980s long before Clinton's plan in 1993. The general public, medical providers and last but not least the politicians are ALL incredibly ignorant about our insurance system.

                      Krugman is exactly right in his analysis of this, by the way. Obama is giving away the political fight before it even starts.

                      •  And if Krugman were really honest about this (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Aethern, snewp

                        he'd be pointing out that Sen. Clinton's plan has very similar flaws because both plans are based on the exact same skeleton.

                        He's not honest about it.  

                        As I said before, he's one economist with a large megaphone that other economists disagree with.  It's unfortunate that the megaphone outweighs reasonable discourse.

                    •  Whose supporters are "intellectually dishonest"? (5+ / 0-)

                      You say economists disagree all the time, then you reccomend a diary that says that Krugman hates Obama and that is why he is pointing out flaws in his putative UHC proposal.  Anybody that disagrees with Obama "hates" him.

                      Damn shame there is no one left worth voting for.

                      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

                      by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:31:48 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  flaws in both plans (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ClickerMel, betson08, Clem Yeobright

                      Read Granny Helen's diary:
                      http://www.dailykos.com/...

                      The nastiness here is absurd.  You can care about the uninsured and disagree about how to cover them.  I personally disagree with both Obama and Hillary (but am an Obama supporter for other reasons).

                      For me, a single payer system where people choose whatever doctor they want and payment is between the health providers and the government, not from patient to insurance to doctor (delayed and underpaid); that's the way it ought to be.  

                      But I don't think it's possible to get that system in this country because of the power of the insurance companies.  And I don't think that either Obama or Hillary will or can successfully reduce that power.  So I'm just hoping that if Obama's nominated and elected, he'll stick by his promise to put the health coverage negotiations on CSPAN, and that if Hillary's nominated and elected, she'll use her strong health coverage background to produce something that will actually work.  
                      But in the end, I think we'll have an improved but still deeply flawed system.  

                      If, in our efforts to win, we become as dishonest as our opponents on the right, we don't deserve to triumph.

                      by Tamar on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:03:19 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Tamar (0+ / 0-)

                        I have to say that I agree with you.  

                        Health care and health insurance are not synonymous.  I would truly like to see the matter of health care decoupled from the profit-directed sharks that run insurance companies and all their affiliated organizations which suck so much money out of the health care system.

                        I don't have any expectation that Hillary will be any more successful than Barack.  She's extremely vague on how she's actually going to curb the insurance companies' profit-taking. I think it's likely that he's more realistic about how to move forward health care delivery to all Americans than Hillary is.  The C-SPAN coverage is one of the best ideas I've seen that will allow Americans to participate in the health care delivery discussion.

                        I believe it is an incremental battle that we're fighting here for universal health care.  We may be able to take a larger step forward than we've been able to do for a long time.  But we will not get to single payer in one giant leap.  

                        In any case, I really resent the language that Hillary supporters use.  The rudeness and nastiness that they bring to this discussion is uncalled for.  It does nothing for their arguments or their candidate.

                  •  And her program helps those who cannot pay. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clem Yeobright

                    It's not like it lives those unable to make payments to insurance out in the cold.

                    We have to get everyone insured. Obama's problem is that it creates big problems for illegals. They then will have to go home or find a legal means to be here. That's why he doesn't like it. He's all for a slave labor market.

                    The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

                    by wavpeac on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:53:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It will be easier for Obama on UHC (0+ / 0-)

                    Why?  Because Obama will almost certainly have longer coattails than Hillary at the congressional level, ushering in a new era of Democratic control in BOTH houses of Congress.

                    He is bringing new voters into the process as Democrats at precisely the same time the GOP is suffereing from mass retirements and well over 20 GOP Senatorial seats up for grabs.  Obama is the one person any congressional or senate candidate wants out there on the stump supporting their candidacy.  He'll bring energy not just to the national party, but at the state and local levels.  And with that new majority - he'll get healthcare done, even if he has to make a few compromises with Congress along the way.

                    Hillary's nomination is not without its merits.  It could lead to a broad, female-led coalition of voters in the fall.  But she doesn't bring the energy and freshness required to change the way of doing things in Washington, and that includes getting healthcare done.

                  •  Dead On. Obama's plan is helpful to Insurance (2+ / 0-)

                    Not to us.  It's a disaster in the making.  I hate the fact that I'll be paying more for healthcare because others will refuse to purchase insurance---and when they get ill, everyone's rate goes up.

                    I don't like Clinton---I don't trust her.  Krugman's "---there is some chance--that we'll get universal health care" with Clinton is not an inaccurate assessment.

                    It's a maybe.  But it's better than what Obama has to offer.

                    I wish they'd both go back and redraft their plans after the Edwards plan.

                    This diarist, as many Obama supporters do, is whining that Krugman has something against their candidate.  Well, it's not a vendetta, it's that Obama is playing fast and loose on this one.  Krugman knows it.  If Obama would toughen up on healthcare, he'd have my vote.

              •  It's hard not to get caught up (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright, bxu2fan

                There is a tide of people chanting "Obama! Obama!", and I'm not usually one to go against the tide, but when I try to envision myself voting for Obama, it just doesn't work. I see too many problems, not the least of which is that I haven't seem any actual policies of his that I think are worth voting for. Yes, he has good general progressive ideals, but so does Clinton. Obama does not stand out in any way, except his charisma, and that is not, imo, a good way to choose a president. I've seen too many charismatic leaders in my day (I came of age in the Reagan era), and I'm looking for substance, not style. Charisma is important if you're leading a campaign, but it fails when faced with the day to day drudgery of running a nation.

                To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

                by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:16:28 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  heh (3+ / 0-)

              nothing like some absolute statements without anything else to back them up to convince someone... sigh

              During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

              by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:37:11 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  you would think in general (9+ / 0-)

              that people would understand that if Some People Do Not Have It, It is not Universal.

              And secondly, how do you suppose Medicare is supposed to run?  (The hole here is that Congress still hasn't put Medicare & Social Security funds in Al Gore's lockbox, so in many ways they just come out of the general fund).

              1.  it comes out of your wages as your FICA taxes.  You have no choice to pay for it or not, other than not working or working "under the table".  There is nothing optional about FICA.
              1.  It continues to be deducted from your Social Security pension, after you collect it.  Now you can opt out of Part D.  You can chose not to buy supplemental insurance.

              But if you worked 40 quarters in which you paid FICA, you have Part A, whether you like it or not.  You have it because you were mandated to pay for it.

              And if you are indigent and have never worked, you have Medicaid.

              Hillary's plan would work similarly.

            •  Romney-care is not universal health care (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              billlaurelMD, Ticonderoga

              Forcing people to buy insurance is not going to bring us UHC.  

              If you think it is then you should vote for Romney, who implemented it in MA.

              www.barackobama.com

              by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:28:49 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Romney didn't like MA plan (0+ / 0-)

                I live in MA, and Romney could do very little to stop the MA Healthcare plan, which was drawn up by the legislature, not him.  It also happened at the end of Romney's reign, which ended over a year ago.  Since our new gov, Deval Patrick, is a democrat, I'd say there's very little blame or praise we can put on Romney for the system that is now in place.

                •  Didn't he sign the plan (0+ / 0-)

                  he could have vetoed it if he was opposed to it.  And I also seem to remember he has taken credit for it on the campaign trail.

                  www.barackobama.com

                  by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:14:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  I found out that you're wrong (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ticonderoga, Unseen majority

                  He supported the plan.  It wasn't his first choice plan, but he gave it his stamp of approval.

                  http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

                  Mass. Bill Requires Health Coverage
                  State Set to Use Auto Insurance As a Model

                  By David A. Fahrenthold
                  Washington Post Staff Writer
                  Wednesday, April 5, 2006; Page A01

                  BOSTON, April 4 -- The Massachusetts legislature approved a bill Tuesday that would require all residents to purchase health insurance or face legal penalties, which would make this the first state to tackle the problem of incomplete medical coverage by treating patients the same way it does cars.

                  Gov. Mitt Romney (R) supports the proposal, which would require all uninsured adults in the state to purchase some kind of insurance policy by July 1, 2007, or face a fine. Their choices would be expanded to include a range of new and inexpensive policies -- ranging from about $250 per month to nearly free -- from private insurers subsidized by the state.

                  "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance," Gov. Mitt Romney (R) said regarding the health insurance bill. "And cars are a lot less expensive than people." (By Julia Makalie -- Associated Press)

                  Romney said the bill, modeled on the state's policy of requiring auto insurance, is intended to end an era in which 550,000 people go without insurance and their hospital and doctor visits are paid for in part with public funds.

                  "We insist that everybody who drives a car has insurance," Romney said in an interview. "And cars are a lot less expensive than people."

                  ...

                  www.barackobama.com

                  by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:17:31 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Interesting (0+ / 0-)

                    Interesting.  Maybe I'm wrong about the statement that he didn't like it.  Maybe I'm getting it confused with the amendment that would make employers pay part of the fee.  However, I also believe the bill was passed with a veto-proof majority, like many bills were during the Romney years.

                    Either way, I feel like it is a step forward.  It's not perfect, but it's a step.  Trashing it as "Romney-care," when our Democratic legislature overwhelmingly supported it isn't fair.  Saying someone should vote for Romney for liking Clinton's UHC plan over Obama's is just silly.  

                    No one should vote for Romney.  :)

            •  His is a fair criticism, I think (0+ / 0-)

              Many middle class people who might decide to take a chance that they won't get sick and skip insurance will buy insurance if it is the law.  Just because they are not accustomed to lawbreaking.  Sure, maybe they speed on the highways and smoke a little pot, but they will comply on something as traceable as health insurance.  Young people and poor people will not comply if it costs them much.  Some will be included in the subsidies, some will not.  Those who aren't probably won't be penalized, but it WILL be a smaller number than under the Obama plan.

              This really could be financuially painful for some people though.  I promise you that some middle class families are going to miss out on the subsidies and find themselbves paying $1,000 a month to cover their families and it will be as much as their house note and they will hurt because of it.  And they will complain.  And they will be the vocal, on the tv commercial, standard bearers for the Republican Party in the next election.

              Hillary claimed she learned from her last experience, but she appears not to have.  Change should be made in steps.  Let people see that the Obama approach doesn't hurt them, and then talk about how to cover the rest.  Eventually we will end up at single payer, but the first step needs to be a little smaller than Hillary is proposing.

              Someone who has the chance to buy health insurance but doesn't because they don't want to pay isn't someone we should worry as much about, IMHO.  The problem with them is that they free ride, not that they don't have insurance.

              Nonetheless, his little shout at the end that with Hillary we may get universal health care... give me a break.  Congress isn't going to pass mandates right away.  The Obama approach is what will happen... we'll make it more affordable and see who still lacks coverage and then address that problem, possibly with mandates later.  He is wrong at the end... there is NO CHANCE that we get universal health care with Hillary.

              •  Please tell me (0+ / 0-)

                how somebody who doesn't have health insurance gets a free ride. I really want to know.

                Because last I checked, if I don't have health insurance and I need care, I am responsible for ALL the costs. Not anybody else. And unless we've all suddenly moved to Britain, all those hospitals and doctors are privately owned entities. If I don't pay them, they are out the money.

                Not the govt. Not you.

                That does NOT equate to a 'free ride' in my book. It may equate to BANKRUPTCY, or to the hospital/doctor going out of business, but it certainly doesn't equate to a 'free ride'.

          •  She's triangulating left for the primaries. (10+ / 0-)

            Don't worry, she'll take the easy way out for the GE.  "Mandate" isn't found in her official campaign pdf, and the word will disappear once she uses up the third of the third of the voters who love government orders and obligatory bills.

            I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

            by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:04:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's why Obama jumped aboard with mandates (5+ / 0-)

              right?

              Because Clinton's is such a popular position in the primaries, he issued a mailer indicating he approves the same measures ...

              Oh wait. That's not what was in his mailer at all!

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:24:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Typical tone deaf HRC 08. (6+ / 0-)

                Unlike HRC, he's been remarkably consistent and unlike HRC, he's not making obfuscation an important part of his campaign.

                Sorry, you asked as if you really wanted to know, and I told you.  Your candidate didn't come up with a health care plan until her lack of one became conspicuous, then she puts out a pdf without the word "mandate", then lo and behold, she makes it the Holy Grail of Purity.   It fools about a third of the third of the voters who think that the way to start health care is to force peple to pay a bill.  As if bills, not doctors, provided health care.

                You know, the same people who think that people really don't sit at the kitchen table worrying about bills.

                I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

                by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:11:05 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  rightwingtalkingpoints!!!! (8+ / 0-)

                  from here one out, I declare all people sitting at kitchen tables, references to people sitting at kitchen tables, and especially pictures of people sitting at kitchen tables to be rightwing talking points straight from the bowels of Rove's cybernetic soul.

                  /snark

                  During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

                  by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:20:23 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  You have a ptolemaic system, don't you? (4+ / 0-)

                  If Obama is the center of the universe, then you need to construct sphere after sphere after sphere to explain the movement of the stars that you cannot deny.

                  Sen Clinton has been forthright about mandates, and Sen Obama brings them up in throwaway lines, and you say he is not obfuscating but she is.

                  You say she is cleverly triangulating this issue in a way sure to cost her votes because of her tone-deafness, and he is remarkably clever to say "Don't worry about it, I'll think of something, and, oh yeah, CHANGE"

                  You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                  by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:21:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  HRC's official pdf doesn't have word "mandates". (0+ / 0-)

                    She's alrady sweetening them by making them less mandate-y, that is, by declinging to say if she would enforce them and talking about subsidies.It's HRC 08 deciding to make Mandates the Test of Purity even as she triangulates away.  Typical.

                    Nobody knows what she means to bill us, or how she'll collect it, or what we'll get.

                    But the third of the third of the country that confuses A Bill with getting something in return...well, I don't think anyone is really so dense.  

                    I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

                    by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:53:54 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  Hillary has moved with the public on many issues. (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  joanneleon, romperstomper

                  This is one thing I like about her. That when she has found a position to be unpopular she moves with the public. To me, that's what representation is! Some call it flip flopping, I call it doing what works and being flexible. It's all a matter of perspective. Which is why these arguments back and forth continue. But this I know. I am proud of both candidates, and hope that Obama will allow himself to be influenced if his stand on an issue does not meet with public approval.

                  The greatest gift you can contribute to the goal of world peace is to heal.

                  by wavpeac on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:02:13 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Because the Senator has failed to understand (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Great Uncle Bulgaria

            that mandates apply to the behavior of the agents of government, either on the national or state level.  

            Individuals are not given orders or directives.  Individual behavior is regulated via prohibitions--though shalt not do this or that and, if you do, you'll be punished.

            Indeed, in a society based on consensus we set up cadres of people (agents of government) to carry out the policies we agree on.  

            Because all our significant transactions are mediated by money, we pay those agents of government to perform certain tasks--some mandated and others optional.  Indeed, the optional ones which allow for the use of discretion are actually a sweetener to the mandates.  It's a bargain we make with our agents.  In exchange for doing what they MUST do, we let them use their judgment about what they MAY do.  The use of their discretion is a reward for complying with rules and regulations.

            It's become clear that the current occupant of the White House has failed to carry out the mandates he's been given.  Although he proudly announced in 2004 that he'd been given a mandate, it seems clear that he didn't understand what it was--i.e. to protect and defend the Constitution and see to it that the laws are enforced.  He seems to think that the Presidency is the originator of law and Senator Clinton seems to share the same mis-perception.

            How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

            by hannah on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:03:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  So she can say "every American" (0+ / 0-)
            (even if she should know that mandates don't serve to cover everyone, as can be seen in Massachusetts)

            The hope is that saying "every American" will makes people soft in the head and details can be glossed over or revised.

        •  I don't. (25+ / 0-)

          Anyone who starts out with the assertion that Krugman "hates" Obama is deluded. If you can't be reasonable about criticism from friends, what are you going to do when the Republicans start in?

          Turn Left Interactive, home of the last of the pre-bloggers, originally founded 1995.

          by bently on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:20:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Tactic? Where's the tinfoil? (16+ / 0-)

          There is not vast conspiracy here.
          This isn't some tactic.

          It's an opinion piece.. a well reasoned, well planned opinion piece written by a respected author.

          How did I live without him?

          by Pumpkinlove on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:18:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  i am confused (19+ / 0-)

          from the beginning Krugman was a fan of the Edwards health plan.  Then Hillary Clinton co-opted it. Now Edwards is out of the race. Krugman still supports the "Edwards" health plan.

          That doesn't mean Krugman is for or against a particular candidate, it means he is for or against one of the health plans as they now stand. This idea that Paul Krugman has been "for" Hillary that I have read on these pages would be funny (peculiar and ha ha) if not for the seriousness of the health care crisis.

          I haven't read all the posts, but wonder: will I get to one that looks at how mandates can be handled without penalties? I think (am not sure) that the Edwards plan addressed this. Perhaps, as it was nearly copied from Edwards, the Clinton plan does also.

          Please don't jump on me, I am not a Hillary supporter (or Obama especially) as I loved JRE and am currently lost in the wilderness, but I do know partisan arguments that avoid substance when they see it. Still being fairly new to these hallowed environs, sorry in advance if I have broken any rules.

        •  no, you may not call Krugman a surrogate (15+ / 0-)

          he was pretty clearly an Edwards supporter until last week.  It's amazing to me that someone who was universally lauded on this site as possibly the greatest progressive writer out there just a couple of months ago is now an idiot.

          Reality check:  He's not an idiot.  He's still brilliant, and he's right.

          It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

          by ThirstyGator on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:24:55 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess its because he hasn't enlisted in (4+ / 0-)

            the Children's Crusade.

            "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

            by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:38:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Hell hath no fury... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ThirstyGator, Clem Yeobright, jay w

            ...like a Magical Unity Pony scorned.

            Seriously, I am a now-undecided Edwards supporter, and I like Obama over Clinton on basically every issue except Social Security and healthcare, but some of his supporters on these boards are completely over the top.

            The idea that Krugman, who has been a consistently courageous, progressive voice even in the darkest of times (2002-03, anyone?), is somehow shilling for a single candidate – rather than focusing on not only policy, but how best to implement and sell that policy to the larger public – is laughable.

            •  hmmm (0+ / 0-)

              Hell hath no fury...

              ...like a Magical Unity Pony scorned.

              I imagine you probably think it's the biggest fairy tale you've ever seen (but never understood).

              During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.

              by Aethern on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:54:12 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Not everybody who criticized Obama "hates" him (5+ / 0-)

          Really... it is possible to say negatives things about an Obama proposal without hating him personally, although I can see how you would feel otherwise. Obama's supporters have turned his campaign into a personality cult in which you either worship Obama and think he is the perfect candidate or hate him - there is no middle ground. Anybody who disagrees with him is either a Clinton "surrogate" or a racist.

          Krugman has been pushing health care reform since long before Obama, and will continue until we get reform. He has been a good friend to progressive policies, and I think it's shameful that people are so willing to simply dismiss him because he dislikes Obama's plan.

          To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

          by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:12:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  SNARK Wow how quickly things change!!! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          aschupanitz, Clem Yeobright, jay w

          You can now come to the DK to read Paul Krugman get trashed and read positive quotes from Chris Matthews and David Brooks

    •  Thank god. (13+ / 0-)

      That other diary pissed me off something else.

      Very nice response! :)

      BushBushBushClintonClintonBushBush...Clinton?!

      by OutOfManyOne on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:58:35 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're letting emotions make your decisions (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright

        Someone who posts a diary that recommends the candidate you don't support pisses you off?  What kind of Democrat are you?

        Policy differences are important ways to determine which candidate you should support in the primary.  If you don't make your decision on policy, you get what you deserve -- a candidate that doesn't care about policy, but just wants power.

        Now that may go a little too far in Obama's case, because I do believe he intends to produce good results.  But on the issue of mandates he is shooting himself in the foot by removing them from the debate before it starts.

        Close your eyes, stop your ears Close your mouth and take it slow Let others take the lead and you bring up the rear And later you can say you didn't know

        by njheathen on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:25:10 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're right! (w/ caveat) (0+ / 0-)

          It wasn't the diary or recommendation or different in candidate that pissed me off.

          It was the one-sidedness, the comments by the diary poster, and the overall tone of the other diary that really got to me.

          I've been happy to recommend and rec up diaries supporting candidates I don't favor. A well-written, calm, rational, and details/fact -oriented diary is good no matter who it "endorses".

          What I can't stand are those that don't meet those criteria and that are "ra-ra" diaries using thin, cherry-picked support -- and where the diarist bristles with insults and drama in every reply and all throughout the comments.

          The diary above, in my opinion, DOES meet the criteria.

          BushBushBushClintonClintonBushBush...Clinton?!

          by OutOfManyOne on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 05:17:04 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's an interesting argument re: mandates (25+ / 0-)

      I just read Krugman's piece, and this was a nice follow-up.  Thanks for posting.

      I did not take the poll, because I do not think either candidate will deliver universal health care.  Hillary is too corporate-friendly, and Barack, with his "let's all work together" rhetoric, seems too willing to give credence to Republican free-market horseshit.  So I pick "none of the above."

      Rise like lions after slumber in unvanquishable number. Shake your chains to earth like dew, which in sleep had fallen on you. Ye are many - they are few.

      by cruz on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:28:03 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Another Vote for "None of the Above" (24+ / 0-)

        This is about half correct:

        The big picture is that every prior attempt to enact universal health care has failed because we haven't been able to hold the coalition together - not because we haven't been able to figure out the public policies that would get it done.

        We do know what works.

        Single payer works.  But its failure to be enacted has nothing to do with coalitions shattered by infighting.

        It failed when Truman tried it because a number of powerful forces--including much of organized labor and the insurance industry itself--were making enough money from health insurance that they didn't want the government honing in on their racket. It wasn't a coalition falling apart.

        In 1993, the Clintons completely shut single-payer advocates like Jim McDermott out of the process.

        And this year, neither Obama nor Clinton is even considering it.  Nor did either of them even propose a healthcare plan until Edwards--who also didn't propose single payer--shamed them into it.

        This fight over mandates is like two bald men fighting over a comb.

        "None of the above" is the right answer to the poll.

        This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

        by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:08:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  So: stick with the status quo? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rolfyboy6, joanneleon, Texdude50, temptxan

          People with 'pre-existing conditions' are excluded from the health insurance system and may only stay in the health care system by giving up their homes and their savings and their productive lives?

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:22:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So: support single payer. (11+ / 0-)

            The current system is broken. But neither the Obama nor the Clinton plan would produce a workable system of universal health care.

            This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

            by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:39:35 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Single payer is not in anybody's plan. (5+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rolfyboy6, jim bow, Salo, Texdude50, hannahlk

              So you are proposing the status quo.

              That's not good enough for me.

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:58:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm for a Kucinich-style... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                billlaurelMD, Chicago Lulu

                ....single payer plan. Failing that, I think Obama's plan is a better choice, since we can improve on his system. Clinton's mandate system will create additional problems that might make getting to a single-payer plan tougher.

              •  No I'm Not Supporting the Status Quo. (11+ / 0-)

                Here's what I'm doing.

                I'm not basing any decisions I make about the major party presidential candidates based on their solving the health care crisis. None of them will.

                Barring something completely unforeseeable, one of Clinton, Obama, McCain, or Romney will be sworn in as president in January of next year.  

                He or she will or won't then propose a health care solution.

                At that point, I'll judge what actually gets proposed on the merits. I feel confident in saying that nothing any of these four proposes will solve the problem.  But that doesn't mean I won't support what they do propose.

                When an actual proposal comes down the pike, we can take a pragmatic look at what it actually does. Will it make things better or worse?  Will it open up possibilities for further reform or will it shut them down?  Those aren't answers we can give at this point.

                However, some reforms are worse than the status quo. Take Bush's Medicare Part D drug program.  I opposed that. Does that mean I favored the status quo? Obviously not.  I just opposed a reform that actually made things worse.

                So while I'm not prepared to support either the Clinton or the Obama plan, I'm not opposing either of them either. I'm just saying that neither will give us universal healthcare.

                Finally a thought about this thread:  There's a version of Godwin's Law afoot in discussions among progressives these days, except what gets invoked ultimately isn't Hitler, but rather Margaret Thatcher's famous acronym "TINA": There Is No Alternative.

                Rather than deal with the inadequacies of the Democratic Party and its leaders, progressive Democrats dig in their heels, declare that it's their way or the highway, and insist that you can't impeach a president for violating laws against torture and illegal wiretaps, you can't defund an illegal, deadly, and unnecessary war, and you can't have single payer.

                Well you can.

                And even the fact that the military industrial complex and the pharmaceutical industry are able to buy themselves presidential candidates from both major parties doesn't change what's right or what needs to be done. It just makes the fight a little more difficult.

                This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

                by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:10:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Mandates depend on the insurance companies (0+ / 0-)

                playing by the rules.  Why on earth do you think the insurance companies won't get their hands on this once it hits congress?  Now I'm realizing why Obama doesn't want to mandate.  It's a HUGE WINDFALL for insurance companies with the government's help.

            •  we won't have universal health care (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mmacdDE, cruz, mrchumchum

              until the FOR PROFIT insurance companies are either a.  taken out of the equation or b. regulated to the point that everyone can afford the premiums.  I wouldn't hold my breath for the latter OR the former, and it's unfortunate.

              If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy -- Teacher Ken, Kossack extraordinnaire

              by billlaurelMD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:23:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  there is too much profit (0+ / 0-)

                and they are holding us hostage.  I don't know if anyone has the courage to take them out, but it needs to be done.  Since most of them seem to be trying to kill off anyone that actually gets sick, maybe it wouldn't take as much political courage as it looks like.

              •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

                Mandates are a canard!  It's just a giveaway to insurance companies.  Who is naive enough to believe that once that mandate bill hits congress that they won't just give away the whole thing?!

        •  Bingo! (0+ / 0-)

          We still have to work toward single payer but we have a heck of a long way to go!

      •  Same, poll needs 3rd option (11+ / 0-)

        I don't have faith in either plan. That's why I am giving up on using this as a reason to support or not support a candidate. HC is my #1 issue, both are small improvements, but both fall far from real UHC. Only hope is that we can pressure whoever wins for more progressive reform than their current plans, or we keep the pressure up until the next election (well, maybe 2016, ugh) so the next candidate can finally make the switch needed.

      •  Amen! (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rolfyboy6, unterhausen, cruz

        When it comes to health care, I'll believe it when I see it. I don't have confidence that any of these people can deliver health care with no strings attached. Not with these half-steps, not in this political environment.

        At this point, I'll settle if we can just get health care for the veterans.

        (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

        by autoegocrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:05:30 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  My 2c. (7+ / 0-)

      As a fellow economist (though one with far less credentials than these folks!) is that there is actually a genuine policy disagreement here. People disagree on which is best to get people coverage, to cut costs, to succeed politically. There are arguments that the plans cover the same amount of people, arguments they don't, but in my view there is no way for us to really know beforehand. Economics/policy science are inexact!

      I respect Krugman and also Jon Gruber, Hillary's advisor on the issue, a lot - Gruber designed the Mass plan and certainly knows his stuff. What is upsetting to me is how overblown this thing has gotten. The rhetoric is out of this world. These are minor differences in policy and each side has legitimate, in my view, arguments. But it's not fair for Krugman and the Hillary supporters (and the Edwards supporters, before he left the race) to say that only Hillary and Edwards are pure on the issue and a vote for Obama is a vote for the corporate status quo or worse. As you and many others have demonstrated, that is not true and all future outcomes are by definition uncertain.

      •  One bite at this apple. (8+ / 0-)

        Screw it up and the Rs will block health care finance reform for another generation.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:20:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We won't even get a bite, clem (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, Salo

          might get to gum it a little bit, thats about all.  Then the counterattack of the goopers in 12, and it will be 1980 and Jimmy Carter going down to defeat all over again.  These guys don't want to beat goopers, they want to whine how anybody that doesn't worship their saint, must hate him.  Wait till the press turns on him, watch the celebrity fade.  Now don't get me wrong-I don't think Clinton will be much better, just less disappointing to some because we already know she is fallible.

          "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

          by NearlyNormal on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:45:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I don't know about your timeline (0+ / 0-)

          health care is going to keep getting worse, so it may just be another decade.

      •  Shouldn't we know, then (0+ / 0-)

        That the Massachusetts plan has been a dramatic failure?

        NOBODY here is talking about that! It's as if MA has fallen off the face of the earth.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:33:35 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Which demonstrates that we need a national (0+ / 0-)

          plan, able to exploit the resources available on the federal level.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:51:47 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, (0+ / 0-)

          I only partially agree. I wouldn't say it has been a dramatic failure. Rather that it hasn't achieved UHC as people wanted it to. It will probably improve, if we get the policy changes right to improve funding, etc. And the situation now is better than it was.

          But you're absolutely right that since Hillary's plan mirrors Mass, the incrementalism inherent in both should be acknowledged. Discussions on the failures and potholes in Mass should be very much a part of the discussion. The experience is important because it demonstrates how hard it is to achieve UHC, even with mandates.

          I'd personally go straight for single-payer, but as we know that's (unfortunately) not on the cards.

          •  200,000 remain uninsured (0+ / 0-)

            And folks who found they had to choose between their mortgage and their insurance mandate, and chose their home, face crippling tax penalties.

            I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

            by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:52:45 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Recall that BOTH plans (0+ / 0-)

      require insurance companies to sell a policy for perhaps $5,000 a year ('affordably') to someone who has predictable scheduled health care expenses twice that or even ten times that.

      Such persons will be absorbed into your 'pool' and mine.

      Given that provision, how does it remain rational for you or me not to 'opt out' of that pool?

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:30:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Clem, I'm sorry but mandates are bull. (0+ / 0-)

        The MOST likely thing that would happen to that mandate bill is that the insurance lobby will hit it on "day one" and write the frigging bill.  It's a massive windfall for them.

        •  And the requirement to insure the previously (0+ / 0-)

          uninsurable - those with expensive pre-existing conditions - what do you call that?

          The rule being laid on the insurance companies is that if someone walks in with $500 and lays it on the counter they have to go back into the safe and draw $10,000 and hand it over. Everyone gets a policy for an affordable price, even if they have monthly health care bills ten times their income.

          Regulation of the insurance companies is in both Clinton's and Obama's plans. Since Clinton 'gives' them the mandated people, she can better hold down the premiums they charge.

          There is no windfall.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:09:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  How does Obama deal with adverse selection? (4+ / 0-)

      Just asking.

      "The revolution's just an ethical haircut away..." Billy Bragg

      by grannyhelen on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:53:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  adverse selection (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Small Town in Central PA

        No one knows what that means, that's why you're not going to get an answer.

        Adverse selection, moral hazard. People who need it most will sign up and contribute to the system, but a lot of healthy people will not contribute until they have to.

      •  Adverse selection is surely why Obama's plan... (4+ / 0-)

        ...appears to cost more per person insured in the MIT guy (Gruber's) analysis.

        Under Obama's plan, sick people will sign up (i.e., adverse selection), while a big chunk of the healthy pass -- unless they suddenly have need for some catastrophic reason.

        I learned last week what happened to my ex-colleague who contracted leukemia while uninsured (voluntarily uninsured -- our employer-sponsored plan required enrollees to pay 1/3 of premiums and he opted out) at the age of 29.  Last I had heard, his leukemia was stabilized on Gleevec -- its possible he might live for decades now -- but he is completely broke and filing for bankruptcy.

        It now looks like, on the procedural back-end, he may qualify for Medicaid (which has no premiums and minimal copays -- something like $1 per Rx).

        If he had had insurance, he would probably still be employed and would not have had all the savings from his 20s wiped out.

        Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

        by Minerva on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:00:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's not true (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rrheard

          You are assuming insurance would have helped him.

          They didn't help Nataline Sarkisyan, did they?

          Supporters of mandates seem to not understand how health insurers operate. They find ways to avoid paying claims. They break the law in order to do it - CA is trying to levy a $1.3 billion fine against PacifiCare for doing this. Many people with medical debt HAD INSURANCE.

          I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

          by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:32:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How can you say 'That's not true'. (0+ / 0-)

            How can you know that?

            My parents received excellent treatment under their employment-based health insurance plans. Millions of people like their insurance! Millions of people get claims paid in a timely fashion every month.

            This isn't to deny or fail to applaud nyceve's regular reports on 'murder by spreadsheet', but for you to suggest that in the vast majority of cases people are not satisfied with their insurers' responses is a distortion.

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:57:13 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Granny, here's a great (0+ / 0-)

        comment in today's Beat the Press Roundup out of CEPR.

        February 4, 2008

        Krugman Wrong on Obama and Mandates

        It's not often that I take issue with Paul Krugman's economics (at least not recently), but he does misrepresent the issues in going after Obama on health insurance mandates.

        The simple story is that any effort to establish national health insurance will require some anti-free loader mechanism to prevent gaming. The logic is straightforward. Everyone agrees that we want to get rid of the current practice under which insurers are allowed to charge fees based on people's health. Under this system, people with serious illnesses either must pay exorbitant fees or are unable to get insurance altogether. (Insurance companies lose money if they insure people with high bills.)

        Under a reformed system, we will require a standard fee under which everyone pays the same rate regardless of their health history. However, this creates a situation in which it doesn't make sense for healthy people to pay for insurance. Why not just deal with minor health related costs out of pocket? You can wait until you get sick and then buy into the system and pay the standard rate.

        That works for healthy people, but it would destroy the system because the only people buying insurance would be those with relatively high bills. This means that insurance would be very expensive, which of course encourages more people to play the "wait till I'm sick strategy." The end result is that the system collapses, because only the very sick would ever find it worthwhile to buy insurance.

        One way around this problem is to mandate that everyone buy insurance. Senator Clinton has proposed a mandate as an explicit part of her plan. Senator Obama has attacked Clinton for this mandate (sometimes unfairly). By contrast, he has suggested that we can get near universal enrollment through other mechanisms. Specifically, he has suggested that we can have a system of default enrollment, whereby people are signed up for a plan at their workplace.

        People would then have the option to say that they do not want insurance, so they are not being forced to buy it. However, they will then face a late enrollment penalty if they try to play the "healthy person" game. When they do opt to join the system, at some future point, they will have to pay 50 percent more for their insurance, or some comparable penalty for trying to game the system.

        A system of default enrollment will ensure that people do not remain uninsured due to inertia. A system of late enrollment penalties will ensure that people don't try to game the system.

        Is the Obama mix as good at reaching universal or near universal insurance as the Clinton mandate? The reality is we don't know. It will depend on many factors, most importantly the sanctions that are imposed under both systems (i.e. the penalty for not getting insurance with the mandate, and the late enrollment penalty in the Obama system). Krugman is wrong to say that a mandate is necessary. We can get to the same place with Obama's approach; it really depends on the details.

        --Dean Baker
        Posted at 05:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

        I Keep pasting this in in comments because I want to make the point that we can argue on the merits of these proposals without getting nasty. I support Obama, but I want to argue about these proposals on their merits.

    •  Always about the h8.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Small Town in Central PA

      Feelin the unity...

      [x] Any (D) in the general. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

      by lambertstrether on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:12:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry. (29+ / 0-)

      There may be a lot of reasons to vote for Barack Obama, but his health care plan is not one of them.  It is this failure to critically analyze, but instead to believe Barack on faith, that is most troubling.  That you think his plan is better just defies reality.  It says to me that the facts don't matter: if Barack proposes it, it must be good.  That is not progressive; that's idolatry.

      If he is nominated and if he beats McCain, we will find out in the future.  But I think Krugman is dead on:

      If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.

      Clinton, Obama, Insurance

      Now there are reasons to vote for Obama beyond his health care plan, but please don't feed me bullshit and call it steak, as I think you are doing here about Obama's deficient plan.

      "They're going to give their power away when we take their power away." John Edwards

      by TomP on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:14:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  one thought on your statement (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ShadowSD, pamelabrown

        Obama is far more likely to listen to the 'roots, given his background of working with them, than Hillary is IMHO.  I cite the diary from Hudson over the weekend to support my claim.

        If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy -- Teacher Ken, Kossack extraordinnaire

        by billlaurelMD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:28:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  That's so backwards (5+ / 0-)

        I can't believe that this part didn't get through to you:

        Over 90 of the nation's most prominent health policy scholars recently signed a letter to this effect (I've reprinted the letter with the names of the signers at the bottom.)  Krugman is just picking the experts who agree  with him - but the balance of opinion is that mandates don't matter.

        That is the exact same tactic that Republicans used to dispute global warming for years; they would pick from a minority of experts who agreed and ignore the consensus of the majority.  It's a dishonest tactic, and it's the kind of thing we should all stand up against, instead of trying to defend it; it only serve to impede the path to universal health care by destroying the public trust necessary for a coalition.  The point of this diary is that a legitimate policy debate between progressives should not be cast as a good vs. evil litmus test type of issue; just because you like your steak medium-rare and the gentleman sitting next to you likes it well done is no reason to look over at him and call it a turd; with the GOP, after all, all we'll get is beans.  Therefore, one would hope that we can discuss different kinds of steak without getting scatalogical.

        Do we really want another YEAR of trying to explain to everyone why the Democratic nominee voted to authorize the Iraq war before they were against it?

        by ShadowSD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:33:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Krugman made an indefensible statement (0+ / 0-)

        He is saying that the ONLY way to get universal health care is to mandate insurance - even though mandated insurance is NOT universal health care!!!

        I agree that Obama's plan is insufficient. But that is NOT the same as him saying he will never have universal care. What Obama is instead saying is "not like this." He won't garnish people's wages to achieve a meaningless "coverage" statistic. He understands why mandates are flawed and rightly resists them.

        I don't know why Krugman is lying to us. And yes, he IS lying when he says the only route to universal care is through mandates. I don't know how else to say it.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:30:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How to analyze a health insurance/care plan (7+ / 0-)

      I am pro-single payer, mandates are less bad then no mandate if you are going to make the mistake of leaving the for profit private insurance companies in the place, Obama is running as a more conservative/moderate on domestic issues then Clinton... and am still an Obama leaner!

      Meanwhile, here is how to analyze the health care proposals:

      - Is it Universal (covers all people)

      - Is it comprehensive (does it cover all needed conditions, prevention, treatment)?

      - Cost to individual (total cost in taxes, premiums, deductibles, copays, uncovered conditions/expenses, total out of pocket...)

      - Cost to system/state/country (will need cost-control).

      Too many folks (even Krugman yesterday) don't seem to get that it is not real universal coverage, if it covers 90% (Obama) or even 100% (Clinton), if that coverage is really "Coverage" which still leaves individual with too much specific kinds of care not actually covered, what is covered is still too expensive in total out of pocket expenses, and total system costs keep rising as percent of GNP.

      •  DrSteve... (0+ / 0-)

        was there a time when health insurance could not be provided on a for-profit basis?  Just wondering ... and wondering also who changed it, if that's the case.

        If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy -- Teacher Ken, Kossack extraordinnaire

        by billlaurelMD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:30:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not in U.S. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          moira977

          we went from very few people using private or any health insurance (all of out pocket or charity care), to rise of employer based insurance during WWII.

          In non-anglo europe (Germany, France, Netherlands, Swiss, Austria, etc.) national universal healt insurance came in as part of the anti-socialist save-capitlism reforms starting after the 1848 failed revolutions.

          But don't confuse "for profit"... single payer is still with capitalist competition and "for profit" motive on the delivery side, but directly with the hospitals, clinics. doctors, and other providers. It just cuts out the wasteful, distorting, unnecessary middleman of the private for profit insarnce companies.

          •  Not quite true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            billlaurelMD, Clem Yeobright, rrheard

            or at least regarding what I thought the question was.

            Several states, including Minnesota with the highest rate of insured population, have laws providing that only non-profit insurers may provide health insurance coverage.  Since health care in the US is a state-based, rather than federal-based, system, even regarding many expenditures of federal funds, this means that health care is currently, and more successfully, being provided in some US states on an only non-profit basis.

          •  I would like to see (0+ / 0-)

            healthcare corporations federally mandated to be either non-profit or NOT publicly traded corporations.

            I don't really mind if they are for-profit, I just don't want them selling stock to the public. IMHO that's where the problem is - they're trying to maximize profits to drive up their stock price. The hell with patients or even the hospital's reputation or whether it provides needed care and makes a small profit - the stock price and next quarter's projections are all that matters.

            That is WRONG.

            •  I could go with the former.... (0+ / 0-)

              but certainly not for the latter.  I don't think anyone should make money off of health care except those directly providing it, that is, the Drs, nurses, and other staff of the facilities, including the managers.  But no further.  Just call me a socialist.

              If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy -- Teacher Ken, Kossack extraordinnaire

              by billlaurelMD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:29:16 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  *1848*? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            so the idea is 160 years old?

            If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy -- Teacher Ken, Kossack extraordinnaire

            by billlaurelMD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:30:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, it is Otto von Bismark, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              the arch-conservative militarist, who is credited with innovating the first national social insurance system providing for health care in the mid-19th century.

              What's interesting about all social welfare systems, in Europe as well as the US, is that they have usually been enacted and implemented by the more conservative and/or wealthier segments of society in interests of preserving their own power and benefits.  That's a really important political lesson for those of us who want to change health care in the US.

      •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sorry to see you coming out in support of mandated insurance - you were always one of my favorite Kossacks writing on health care, and I am somewhat surprised to see you falling into this particular trap. As I am sure you are aware, insurance doesn't equal health care - so why would we support a plan that would potentially bankrupt a whole lot of people?

        I am uninsured, and I strongly oppose mandates. I took an active role in killing California's mandated insurance plan, with my writings at Calitics. As a single-payer advocate you surely know about the California Nurses Association - what do you think of their opposition to mandates?

        Our goal should NOT be "coverage." Our goal must be access to affordable care.

        Further, mandates have failed everywhere they've been tried. Two PNHP doctors explained that rather well, noting the Nixonian origins of the concept and going into detail about how it has not successfully answered any of your analysis questions. In Massachusetts, half of the state's uninsured people remain uninsured, the subsidies are running a deficit, and insurers are seeking double-digit percentage increases in premiums.

        You know single-payer works, not because of the rhetoric, but because of the logic. That same logic shows us why mandates are a horrible, awful idea. Why don't you see that? Why don't you see that for we uninsured folks, this is a threat to our financial security, while not providing anything in the way of meaningful care?

        I have to disagree totally with what you write - it is in fact better to have Obama's flawed plan than Hillary's dangerous plan. And I don't see Obama as running a "more conservative" campaign - I think the diarist and PNHP both do a good job of explaining how opposing mandated insurance is a very deeply progressive thing to do.

        But the campaign aside - I am really curious why you would even support mandates at all. I find it very surprising.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:26:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  You nailed it (0+ / 0-)

      Ironically I also wrote a diary titled Paul Krugman is Wrong, back in December when he first wrote his lame defense of the right-wing concept of mandated insurance.

      You might also find another of my diaries interesting, also from December: Doctors Explain the Flaws of Mandated Insurance. It gives valuable background on the conservative origins of mandates, particularly the role of one Richard Nixon.

      Thanks so much for this breath of fresh air. We ALL love Paul Krugman. But he is not always right. We cannot check our independent thinking at the door when we read his columns.

      I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

      by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:17:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mandates (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eugene, mmacdDE

      for auto insurance haven't worked, according to what i've read.  Why would they work for healthcare?  There will always be a fairly substantial number of people who will end up in clinics (we should have free walk in clinics for primary care) and emergency rooms and eschew health insurance--the homeless, for example.

      •  20% of CA drivers are uninsured (0+ / 0-)

        Which is a larger number than the % of undocumented immigrants who drive.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:27:40 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  You probably won't listen, but let me try (0+ / 0-)

        As has been pointed out elsewhere numerous times, the comparability of health to auto insurance is limited and attempts to analogize from one to the other generally produces more confusion than enlightenment.

        Your reference to ERs and especially free clinics is an interesting contribution.  There is a recent article in one of the medical journals that contends it is the soft-hearted MDs and RNs who provide care outside the established system who are for the moment shoring up a badly broken system.

        Not to knock MDs or RNs in any way.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:31:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman makes the same claim (0+ / 0-)

      that Bush made in opposing health care reform.

      "After all we already have programs that make health insurance free or very cheap for to many low income Americans without requiring that they sign up. Any many of those eligible fail for whatever reason to enroll."

      He is saying that people like myself who are low income working people can afford insurance and the reason I don't have it is because I don't want it.  

      That is nonsense.  Insurance is not cheap for low income working adults. I want it - I can't afford it.

    •  don't try to act morally superior, okay? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Why does he hate Obama so much?

      sort of a pity party started by a concern troll.
      So, you've just lost all respect for him...what garbage.
      You can disagree with Krugman's analysis, but don't accuse him of being a hater or some other shady motives.
      Go soak your head. Your attitude sucks.
      You can present your opinion and whatever facts you have without acting like an eighth grader.

      fouls, excesses and immoderate behavior are scored ZERO at Over the Line, Smokey!

      by seesdifferent on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:12:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Jayaprakash you might consider (0+ / 0-)

      editing this diary with another opinion by Dean Baker of CEPR. In his weekly Beat the Press analysis, which I just got in an email, he had this column. I think you can probably get a direct link on their website.

      February 4, 2008

      Krugman Wrong on Obama and Mandates

      It's not often that I take issue with Paul Krugman's economics (at least not recently), but he does misrepresent the issues in going after Obama on health insurance mandates.

      The simple story is that any effort to establish national health insurance will require some anti-free loader mechanism to prevent gaming. The logic is straightforward. Everyone agrees that we want to get rid of the current practice under which insurers are allowed to charge fees based on people's health. Under this system, people with serious illnesses either must pay exorbitant fees or are unable to get insurance altogether. (Insurance companies lose money if they insure people with high bills.)

      Under a reformed system, we will require a standard fee under which everyone pays the same rate regardless of their health history. However, this creates a situation in which it doesn't make sense for healthy people to pay for insurance. Why not just deal with minor health related costs out of pocket? You can wait until you get sick and then buy into the system and pay the standard rate.

      That works for healthy people, but it would destroy the system because the only people buying insurance would be those with relatively high bills. This means that insurance would be very expensive, which of course encourages more people to play the "wait till I'm sick strategy." The end result is that the system collapses, because only the very sick would ever find it worthwhile to buy insurance.

      One way around this problem is to mandate that everyone buy insurance. Senator Clinton has proposed a mandate as an explicit part of her plan. Senator Obama has attacked Clinton for this mandate (sometimes unfairly). By contrast, he has suggested that we can get near universal enrollment through other mechanisms. Specifically, he has suggested that we can have a system of default enrollment, whereby people are signed up for a plan at their workplace.

      People would then have the option to say that they do not want insurance, so they are not being forced to buy it. However, they will then face a late enrollment penalty if they try to play the "healthy person" game. When they do opt to join the system, at some future point, they will have to pay 50 percent more for their insurance, or some comparable penalty for trying to game the system.

      A system of default enrollment will ensure that people do not remain uninsured due to inertia. A system of late enrollment penalties will ensure that people don't try to game the system.

      Is the Obama mix as good at reaching universal or near universal insurance as the Clinton mandate? The reality is we don't know. It will depend on many factors, most importantly the sanctions that are imposed under both systems (i.e. the penalty for not getting insurance with the mandate, and the late enrollment penalty in the Obama system). Krugman is wrong to say that a mandate is necessary. We can get to the same place with Obama's approach; it really depends on the details.

      --Dean Baker
      Posted at 05:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

      I do think that Krugman is within his rights thought to say who he thinks is the most progressive on this. That doesn't mean you can't disagree with him on the merits.

    •  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Econ of Utilities (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      I don't think Krugman's being hard on Obama.

      Its a technical thing, not an emotional thing.

      Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Economics of Utilities.  

      I have to be careful here because I am drawing from memory a class I had in Law School taught by a Nobel Prize winning Economic historian, Douglas C. North. If I get it wrong here, it's my fault, not his.

      Healthcare is not a commodity or a utility. But Health Care insurance is both a commodity and a utility. Like all utilities the cost goes down (and generally the quality goes up) as the pool of contributors become larger.  

      Most utilities models have mandates.  

      Case in point is the St. Louis area's water utility.  

      St. Louis has a lot of food processing industries that consume and use water in their products. The most prominent being Anhueser-Busch.  Anhueser-Busch is the wealthiest company in the city, located on the Mississippi River, it has it's own water treatment plant.  It doesn't need to buy water from the city. But it's plant has to under mandates. The reason is the formula for utilities breaks down the minute you allow subscribers to opt out.  

      Busch represents the wealthy subscriber that could obviously opt out as it could produce its own. This would force water rates up on the rest.  Soon poor subscribers opt out because the burden on them has gone up.  As the burden goes up more and more subscribers opt out or find alternative means.

      Eventually you are left with something that looks like our health system.  

      Let me tell you that St. Louis has some of the best water coming out of the tap in the country. It taste great, it's better for you than the stuff you buy in the bottle because it has floride in it, and it is very cheap.

      Look, I love Obama. I really would like to vote for him. But there is a flaw in his proposal and Krugman's doing all of us a big favor pointing it out.

      All Obama has to do is go back and fix that technical flaw.

      If He can't fix it, then it's axiomatic of a bigger problem.  

      I like his inspiration. But I have very critical needs in the area of economics and healthcare.

      If his policies don't address those needs, he becomes nothing more than a vanity candidate.

      I think Krugman's doing all of us a very big favor.

      I was an Edwards fan. He was right on the issues.  Now I have to find another place to cast my vote tomorrow.  

      Ask Obama to fix the technical aspects of his policy positions so that I can vote for him, else I am going to have to vote for Hillary - which is not something I really want to do.

      I want Obama, but I need healthcare and a job like I had in the 90s.

      I want Obaman, but when you are poor and you need healthcare insurance, you have to service you needs first, and your wants second or third, or last.  

  •  We all know Krugman is just anti-Obama by now... (33+ / 0-)

    You can't criticize a candidate every other day and claim to be objectively discussing issues. It got personal a long long time ago.

    Proud Sponsor of Hope '08
    My Political (and moral) Compass: -9.00, -8.72

    by bmozaffari on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:35:53 AM PST

    •  Krugman probably honestly believes (18+ / 0-)

      that Obama is the most conservative candidate running on the D side, but within that belief Krugman misses a few things.  

      Foremost is the argument about policy v. culture.  Specifically, is it more important to change policies or is it more important to change the culture of a polity?  

      A lot of Obama supporters, such as myself, feel that Obama alters the rules of the political game, and that by changing the political landscape; he makes large scale changes possible that could never have been achieved through triangulated or even openly aggressive advocacy. (See Clinton the healthcare fiasco part one from the 90's.)

      Second, Obama is truly a liberal, but one who can seeming bring moderate conservatives along with him.  Hillary is probably frankly more cautious and conservative than Obama is, but she finds herself far more loathed by conservative voters.  There is irony in this to be sure, but for Obama supports like myself, Obama ultimately has a far better chance of pushing through a broad progressive policy agenda than Hillary ever would.

      The Book of Revelation is not a foreign policy manual.

      by Dont Just Stand There on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:34:14 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Walks like a duck, talks like a duck (9+ / 0-)

        It's a duck.   Woo-woo, Obama's secret agenda!  After he's elected he'll suddenly reveal the "P" on his chest!  

        •  Look at his record (6+ / 0-)

          He compiled a very progressive record as an Illinois state senator and in the US Senate. He worked as a progressive-minded activist before that. Which part do you not get? Look, just because he's delivering a progressive agenda with a smile on his face doesn't mean he's some centrist sellout. Remember, he specifically asked the DLC to not include him on their list.

          •  He was then an active supporter (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            moira977

            of the Southern Illinois Coal producers, a good move as a State Legislator.  Then when he became a US Senator he wasn't.

            State Legislator is one thing, President is another.  Running a "content free" campaign is good Television lowest common denominator stuff.  It sure isn't anything to write home about if you're trying to call him a progressive.

        •  He's had a P on his chest his entire legislative (0+ / 0-)

          career, while his main opponents this year shifted their rhetoric heavily to the left when the Presidential campaign again.

          And yet, some people continue to insist the guy who has had the consistent record and consistent rhetoric is less credible that those who found more fiery rhetoric at campaign time to distance themselves from their more conservative voting records.

          I can't decide whether that kind of thinking is more dumb, or more gullible.  I think it's about a tie.

          Do we really want another YEAR of trying to explain to everyone why the Democratic nominee voted to authorize the Iraq war before they were against it?

          by ShadowSD on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:39:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  A DHinMi said right on the front page (9+ / 0-)

            in his Front page article:

            I know for the political cognoscenti like many of us here at Daily Kos, Obama appears to be running a content-free campaign.  But he's not running his campaign like it was a debating-society contest about policy differences.  He's trying to appeal to voters, and he is succeeding.  

            Sorry guy, I'm not one of the sheep.  Obama has done little in his two years in the US Senate besides stay in the middle.  Understand that I lean his way because of the war, but I'm not going to be one of the sheep blinded by bright shiny Christmas tree ornaments.

      •  it's this kind of fuzzy thinking that (7+ / 0-)

        got Dubya elected.  He was going to be a Compassionate Conservative, dontcha know?

        I never assume someone is going to be more liberal than he talks.  He's already given up step one in the negotiation.  

        It is considerably more easy to change policies than it is to change politics.  Politics is human nature writ large.  Religions have tried to change human nature for millenia.  And people haven't changed much.  And they haven't changed quickly.

        •  Incorrect (2+ / 0-)

          Anybody who actually looked at W's record knew exactly what kind of conservative he was.  Despite his rhetoric.

          Anybody who actually looks at Obama's record similarly knows exactly what a strong and progressive liberal he is.  Despite the fact that he wants to include other people in the conversation.

          •  If the conservation is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dianem, TheKiddy

            I'm sorry my dear and much respected friend, but I will be as liberal as I please, it is really no different from Up Yours, buddy, I'll do what I want.

            You're telling me the former is Obama and the latter is Dubya.

            And I'm telling you, if that's true, there's no difference between them at all, other than manners.

            But if you mean a real conversation, then what Obama is saying is that he will cede many things to conservatives to "make nice" and be inclusive.  And then the question is, What do you believe Obama will cede in order to make nice?

            And from his rhetoric, I believe I can see who's going under the bus:

            Women, Equal Opportunity in General
            Seniors, Social Security, Medicare, Health Care
            Anti nukes

            As a senior woman, I don't find that an enticing future.  

            •  I think (0+ / 0-)

              that's a straw man.  

              I don't think he's ceding any ground by saying to Republican and Independent voters- "These are things that you want."

              Given his record on women's rights, equal opportunity in general, seniors, social security, medicare, health care AND most especially nuclear weapons, I don't understand why anybody would think he was throwing them under the bus.  Or remotely likely to.

              Again, Obama's actions speak loudly, as did Bush's, if you take the time to look.  But it does require a bit of work.

          •  The 2005 Cheney Energy Bill (0+ / 0-)

            that Obama got wrong

            Anybody who actually looks at Obama's record similarly knows exactly what a strong and progressive liberal he is.

            is ultimately more important to our species than the Iraq vote that Hillary got wrong.
            Resource wars will continue indefinitely as long as there is oil based energy policy like the 2005 Cheney bill. His voting with all the Rethugs on this was a very bad sign to me, as a climate voter.

            •  yes (0+ / 0-)

              I don't  believe he cares one whit about the environment.  I think that's also on his under the bus list.  Otherwise he wouldn't simultaneously be courting Excelon & the LCV.  He could be an avowed pronuke, but if he were that (and it's a defensible position), why then would he be smoozing up to the antinukes?

              He wouldn't have been so uninformed as to be taken in by the coal interests on liquid coal--and have to retract later.

              I think he doesn't give a rat's ass about environmental issues.

              He been as triangulating on the environment as any Clinton could be.

          •  Have you looked at his record? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, rrheard

            Almost every time he has voted, he voted thae same way as Clnton, who has been widely criticized here as being too conservative. Obama has also made a number of statements that indicate that he is quite receptive to some conservative ideas. I'm not suggesting that he isn't progressive, but that he is certainly not as much of an idealistic progressive as some people believe he is. His health care plan is one good example. His ideas are not particularly progressive. They are designed to "unite" the right and the left, not to move the nation in a progressive direction toward health care.

            To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

            by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:33:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes (0+ / 0-)

              And have looked very carefully at his years in Illinois as well.  He is a staunch liberal.

              Incidentally, I think Clinton is mostly a liberal- except when she's not.  The Iraq resolution comes immediately to mind, as do Kyl-Lieberman, the ridiculous flag burning amendment, that early version of the bankruptcy bill.

              His health care plan has been heavily endorsed by many leading economists, and by many leading liberals.  Ted Kennedy, of course, comes immediately to mind- the REAL creator of SCHIP.  But you can read those arguments all over this diary.

        •  That 'fuzzy thinking' supports my theory (0+ / 0-)

          In fact it would be a great analogy if true...

          Run as a moderate, govern as a radical. (This time a radical progressive - not radical regressive.)  

          Please just be competent at governing, that's the other key the R's clearly left out.

          The Book of Revelation is not a foreign policy manual.

          by Dont Just Stand There on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:04:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Guess Dubya Must Be Better Than We Thought (19+ / 0-)

      ....because by your standard, Krugman is clearly incapable of being objective about the Bush administration.

      Paul Krugman is making a substantive argument. Disagree with the substance. Engaging in ad hominem attacks on Krugman is beside the point.

      This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

      by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:10:29 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  GS (11+ / 0-)

        It is very hard to criticize anything about Obama on this site anymore. It scares the crap out of me that that is the case, but it is.

        "Don't believe everything you think" Buddhist saying

        by hester on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:29:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know how it goes. (8+ / 0-)

          I have some serious doubts about both remaining Democrats, so I can, to a certain extent, sympathize with both sets of supporters...at least in their views of the opposing candidate.

          In the case of Obama, I share many of Krugman's concerns.

          There's no question that Obama has a real star quality to him. As far as I'm concerned, there's nothing wrong with that. Charisma can be a huge asset. But it's no substitute for other things I look for in a candidate.  And such charisma can intensify already intense feelings about a candidate.

          I welcome substantive discussion of Krugman's criticism.  But I find how-dare-he-criticize-a-progressive pearl clutching childish and unhelpful.  If a candidate's plans don't stand up to serious questioning from fellow progressives, they're unlikely to work.

          And at the end of the day, I think what we all want even more than a particular person in the White House is effective government that serves the people of the US and the world.  

          This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

          by GreenSooner on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:44:06 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm using the term "personality cult" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hester

          It's really been creeping me out for a while. Any criticism of Obama's policies immediately brings claims of "Clinton Surrogate" or other similar insults. People who want to criticize Obama's ideas have to amend their statements with "I support Obama, but...", and will probably be criticized in spite of that.

          To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

          by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:36:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  And it's a real shame, too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheKiddy

      Krugman is usually very astute on most issues.

    •  Or maybe it's that Obama is wrong (9+ / 0-)

      How did I live without him?

      by Pumpkinlove on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:20:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  indeed! (0+ / 0-)

      something's really eating up Prof. Krugman.

      Reminds me of "[s]he who must be obeyed."

    •  I've never seen Krugman criticize Obama (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marek, chiniqua, Clem Yeobright

      I've read him frequently criticizing his health care plan. Contrary to the opinion of many here, it is possible to criticize a political idea without criticizing the person who holds it.

      To hell with independents... I'll stick with the party that brought us social security, civil rights, and environmental protection.

      by dianem on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:26:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. So here's what Dean Baker (0+ / 0-)

        says about Krugman (Baker is my favorite economist, and he's at CEPR)

        February 4, 2008

        Krugman Wrong on Obama and Mandates

        It's not often that I take issue with Paul Krugman's economics (at least not recently), but he does misrepresent the issues in going after Obama on health insurance mandates.

        The simple story is that any effort to establish national health insurance will require some anti-free loader mechanism to prevent gaming. The logic is straightforward. Everyone agrees that we want to get rid of the current practice under which insurers are allowed to charge fees based on people's health. Under this system, people with serious illnesses either must pay exorbitant fees or are unable to get insurance altogether. (Insurance companies lose money if they insure people with high bills.)

        Under a reformed system, we will require a standard fee under which everyone pays the same rate regardless of their health history. However, this creates a situation in which it doesn't make sense for healthy people to pay for insurance. Why not just deal with minor health related costs out of pocket? You can wait until you get sick and then buy into the system and pay the standard rate.

        That works for healthy people, but it would destroy the system because the only people buying insurance would be those with relatively high bills. This means that insurance would be very expensive, which of course encourages more people to play the "wait till I'm sick strategy." The end result is that the system collapses, because only the very sick would ever find it worthwhile to buy insurance.

        One way around this problem is to mandate that everyone buy insurance. Senator Clinton has proposed a mandate as an explicit part of her plan. Senator Obama has attacked Clinton for this mandate (sometimes unfairly). By contrast, he has suggested that we can get near universal enrollment through other mechanisms. Specifically, he has suggested that we can have a system of default enrollment, whereby people are signed up for a plan at their workplace.

        People would then have the option to say that they do not want insurance, so they are not being forced to buy it. However, they will then face a late enrollment penalty if they try to play the "healthy person" game. When they do opt to join the system, at some future point, they will have to pay 50 percent more for their insurance, or some comparable penalty for trying to game the system.

        A system of default enrollment will ensure that people do not remain uninsured due to inertia. A system of late enrollment penalties will ensure that people don't try to game the system.

        Is the Obama mix as good at reaching universal or near universal insurance as the Clinton mandate? The reality is we don't know. It will depend on many factors, most importantly the sanctions that are imposed under both systems (i.e. the penalty for not getting insurance with the mandate, and the late enrollment penalty in the Obama system). Krugman is wrong to say that a mandate is necessary. We can get to the same place with Obama's approach; it really depends on the details.

        --Dean Baker
        Posted at 05:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

        I put this in a little farther down too.

  •  I'm glad you included those statistics (9+ / 0-)

    about insurance rates with respect to income over FPL. You could also include the quote I have in my sig line from Krugman's Jan 12 article, and evidence showing that the Mass. Health care system exempts citizens based on affordability.

    The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman

    by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:38:36 AM PST

    •  Ah, you did, but (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, Chicago Lulu

      we need links.

      The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman, using right wing talking points.

      by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:04:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  New York Times, Jan. 12, 2007: (9+ / 0-)

        Golden State Gamble

        by Paul Krugman

        There are three main reasons why many Americans lack health insurance. Some healthy people decide to save money and take their chances (and end up being treated in emergency rooms, at the public’s expense, if their luck runs out); some people are too poor to afford coverage; some people can’t get coverage, at least without paying exorbitant rates, because of pre-existing conditions.

        Single-payer insurance solves all three problems at a stroke. The Schwarzenegger plan, by contrast, is a series of patches. It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not; it provides financial aid to low-income families, to help them bear the cost; and it imposes "community rating" on insurance companies, basically requiring them to sell insurance to everyone at the same price.

        As a result, the plan requires a much more intrusive government role than a single-payer system. Instead of reducing paperwork, the plan adds three new bureaucracies: one to police individuals to make sure they buy insurance, one to determine if they’re poor enough to receive aid, and one to police insurers to make sure they don’t discriminate against the unwell.

        •  So, single payer is better. Who disagrees? (5+ / 0-)

          It also is not feasible at this time in this environment. Krugman acknowledges that.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:24:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  i don't really have a problem with that... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          metal prophet, Chicago Lulu

          b/c krugman wants single payer, which schwarzenegger has twice vetoed.

          he wants the candidates' plans to just get the foot in the door, so that single payer will happen eventually.

          i do think his criticisms of obama show bias, though.

          criticizing a stimulus plan for not having alternative energy in it, when he knows alternative energy proposals are covered elsewhere?
          criticizing obama for once using the word crisis (RW talking point) in reference to SS (even though obama proposed a liberal policy--raising the cap) but not edwards for also saying crisis, nor hillary for atacking obama for wanting a trillion $ tax hike (very clear RW talking point)?

          i think krugman is dedicated to the idea that partisan warfare is needed, so he hates obama's approach.

          •  Re-hashing (9+ / 0-)

            a) The three candidates proposed different 'stimulus packages'. Sen Clinton and Sen Edwards proposed traditionally Democratic plans, combining increased targeted expenditures with tax giveaways. Sen Obama proposed 100% giveaway. It was inevitable that Krugman would prefer the Democratic proposals. Policy proposals for the candidates' first budgets were not relevant to this discussion.

            b) Raising the SS cap is a Republican policy, not a Democratic one.  Republicans have for 70 years tried to convert Social Security to a welfare system. The cap guarantees that it is not.

            Yes, Krugman is biased. He is biased in favor of rational effective public policy. And he is biased against 'pandering' of the sort Sen Obama is doing with regard to health care financing.

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:40:52 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  CLAP CLAP (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jim bow, Clem Yeobright

              "Don't believe everything you think" Buddhist saying

              by hester on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:31:00 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Clem (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              I actually disagree in part with you on your point b).  While I most certainly oppose removing the SS cap subject to payroll taxes, I most certainly support raising the cap to, say, $140,000 rather than the current $90,000.  I think even at $140,000, those people would still have greater than a 50% probability of earning more than their contributions (payroll taxes) as these people do have a slightly longer expected future lifetime (life expectancy) once they reach age 18, and can have a job that requires them to pay payroll taxes.  That's just my take.

              The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

              by jim bow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:32:51 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Since payments are tied to contributions (0+ / 0-)

                Raising the cap means larger payments to persons who qualify thereby.

                The analysis is available multiple places on the web, but the consensus I have seen is that this is a bad idea. Now why it's a good idea to have the cap where it is, I can't say. I know I stand to get a very generous monthly check already, and another 50% if you take me up to the first $140k would be ... obscene, but appreciated!

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:43:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No question (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  You would have to increase benefits for the wealthy if you raised the cap, as they are contributing more to the system.  Otherwise, as you point out, these people would not see Social Security as a good return for their investment, and the program would lose some of its political popularity.

                  The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

                  by jim bow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:01:42 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Addendum (0+ / 0-)

                I certainly have always found it funny when suddenly I get a paycheck 5% larger than that of the previous week - that's how I know when I have hit the SS cap. Personally, I would gladly pay all year long.

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:56:48 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  start over from scratch, single payer makes the (31+ / 0-)

    most sense, it cuts out the insurance companies & their 30% & it's a hell of a lot easier to explain & administer.

    Anyone who advocates, supports, defends, rationalizes, or excuses torture has pus for brains and a case of scurvy for a conscience. - James Wolcott

    by rasbobbo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:39:09 AM PST

    •  start over from scratch... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo, Clem Yeobright, scardanelli

      and how likely is that to happen even if democrats controlled every seat in the house and senate?

      Unable to rate comments || Gravel '08!

      by soros on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:15:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No single payer = stick with the status quo? (5+ / 0-)

      is that what you are supporting?

      Please be specific, because there are an awful lot of people suffering under the current health care financing system.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:25:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  single payer is more efficient & way easier to (0+ / 0-)

        explain - pretty much everybody knows someone on medicare. i try to keep up, but i'm not really sure what either the clinton or obama plans entail, but i'm sure the insurance companies will make out just fine with either.

        Anyone who advocates, supports, defends, rationalizes, or excuses torture has pus for brains and a case of scurvy for a conscience. - James Wolcott

        by rasbobbo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:13:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I grew up in NZ with single payer (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rasbobbo, Clem Yeobright, eru, rrheard

          and NZ did not waste money on oil wars, in fact it is at 70% renewable energy now. Its all connected: the crony way v the common good.

          Once you've had normal health care like that, it seems as silly to have to have a middleman insurance  to get care for your health as it would be if you had to get education insurance to put your kid in first grade.

          Thats why Hillarys plan:  to get her foot in the door with CheneyCare just for the kids....then say, look, its ok, if you are afraid of socialised medicine, if you like your plan, keep it, is the smart way to gradually change us, despite the insurance industry.

          Let the consumer choose..heh heh.

    •  but it's not politically possible... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rasbobbo, Clem Yeobright

      of course single payer makes the most sense, but we're going to have to dislodge the big interests from the system first.

      You do that by lowering costs and incorporating a government program which competes with the privates.  If the private companies prove that they can't provide low cost, efficient health coverage, then they will have to step out of the way.

      •  Let's be honest. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rasbobbo

        It's not just the big interests, it's average voters. If people are happy with their health insurance, it is not politic to force them to change. that's what doomed us in 94.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:17:07 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  premiums have almost doubled in the past couple (0+ / 0-)

          years, i don't know anybody that is happy about that, no matter how much they like their health care. single payer does not make health insurance illegal, i doubt i'll be seeing mitt romney or paris hilton down at the neighborhood clinic.

          Anyone who advocates, supports, defends, rationalizes, or excuses torture has pus for brains and a case of scurvy for a conscience. - James Wolcott

          by rasbobbo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:09:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This is a fantastic response diary!! (21+ / 0-)

    I got in the fray at the pro-Hillary, anti-Obama diary.

    I had the audacity to question Krugman and was basically called a traitor to the liberal cause and a moron to boot.

    Thanks for that letter signed by health-care experts on the validity of mandates.

  •  Good info, it does need (6+ / 0-)

    to have links

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Martin Luther King Jr."

    by Oke on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:44:07 AM PST

  •  Such a well-written diary... (26+ / 0-)

    why must you sully it by accusing Paul Krugman of "hating" Barrack Obama?  He doesn't "hate" Barack Obama... he honestly disagrees with him on this issue... how would you feel if, after all the hard work you put into this piece, I asked why you hate Hillary Clinton so much?

    You've presented an eloquent, obviously well-thought-out piece but unfortunately prefaced it with a misrepresentation of Krugman's position... I can say with a great deal of certainty that if Barack Obama is the Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Paul Krugman will be as strong an advocate as Obama could hope for...

    Krugman's piece is no more an "attack" on Barack Obama than yours is an "attack" on Hillary Clinton... it's an honest disagreement between two honest attempts at getting as many people as possible the best quality health care possible, in as manageable way as possible...

    George W. Bush... wiretapping the Amish since 2001...

    by ThatSinger on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:45:33 AM PST

  •  thanks for cutting to the heart (16+ / 0-)

    of this whole debate.

    Most Democrats want to enact UHC, but they disagree on the means of achieving it. The mandate/anti-mandate battle is a relatively minor battle over means. It has nothing to do with the ultimate goal: health care for everyone.

    Glad you pointed out that mandates, by themselves, may not solve anything, and we should be careful not to assume that they'll help ensure universal coverage.

    •  Who put out the mailer this week (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moira977, amberglow, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

      attacking the other's position?

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:14:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Chicago Lulu, scardanelli

        Hillary was trying to score points on it trying to claim that Obama's plan won't cover 15 million which is a claim that originates from a blog post in TNR.

        Obama fact check on '15 million'

        Had she said: "my system has mandates and I think that'll cover more people that his system which doesn't have mandates" then that would be fine. But, trying to milk the "my plan is universal, his isn't" line (when neither plan is guaranteed to be 100% universal) is phony. More importantly, she's been dodging the mandate mechanism question, and she can't have it both ways on mandates.

        Obama has no choice but to fight back in some capacity.

        •  'Obama has no choice' (5+ / 0-)

          Obama has admitted that mandates may become part of his plan, no? And he does have mandates on families with children, doesn't he?

          Still, he has sent Mitch McConnell the ammunition he needs to kill a health care financing proposal.

          And Clinton made him do it. Poor Barack!

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:32:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But Obama's plan can be done incrementally (0+ / 0-)

            If the starting point is to lower costs, most Americans will be in favor of lowering costs no matter what McConnell does. Also Obama can get the public plan and the insurance exchange set up in different pieces of legislation. Free marketers will object to either candidate's health care plan. Even to make a plan which is affordable for people who are sick is a great improvement already.

            -4.00, -5.33 If you are what you say you are, a superstar, then have no fear

            by 4jkb4ia on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:31:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

            "And he does have mandates on families with children, doesn't he?"

            Children can't make decisions for themselves.

            He mandates parents to get their children covered with help provided for those that can't afford. He also requires employers to either cover their employees or pay into  his public plan (with help for qualifying small businesses). That's putting responsibility where it belongs.

            "Still, he has sent Mitch McConnell the ammunition he needs to kill a health care financing proposal."

            It's the mandates in HRC's plan that gives the rightwing the ammunition.

            "And Clinton made him do it. Poor Barack!"

            Her pitch that her plan it 100% universal is bogus (there will probably be millions people not covered despite mandates), and she needs to stop dodging the question and specify of how her system would implement mandates.

            My take is simple: if we're going wage a major war on UHC with the rightwing, we should do it for something like single payer UHC and not the approach of mandates.

            •  But on Monday, Wed, Friday Obama (0+ / 0-)

              says he will deal with free-riders = mandates.

              (The other days he just says CHANGE.)

              Also, why do you say the responsibility belongs with the employer?  Many people do not participate in the group policy at their places of employment because they are already covered on the policy of a spouse or other person. Don't people like that become little jewels in the job market? An employer who can attract a full staff of these jewels gets off pretty cheap, no? (And this isn't hypothetical, I know of a case of a small business that operates precisely on that basis.)  If none of your employees wants a group policy, do you still get fined 6% of payroll for not having one? (Can you work with your brother-in-law in the insurance biz to create a group of zero members?)

              Reinforcing the employment-based insurance model is not a progressive policy. Oops. Unless it's Obama's policy, in which case ... never mind.

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:00:58 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  Mandates overly complicated, Income Tax should do (12+ / 0-)

    Yeah this whole mess with mandates I cannot understand. It defeats the purpose of universal heath care which is supposed to include everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

    The problem is this country spends billions on ways to kill people, so much so, that America is heading into bankruptcy. A fraction of that amount could be funneled into a single payer system to cushion the need to raise taxes to pay for health care. That way, health care would be universal and equal (which kind of goes against everything America stands for, but heck one can dream).

    I could see Obama's point though that the system is now so overly complicated it will be next to impossible to start from scratch. Then again, the system is completely broken and obscene...

    It would be a hell of political fight. The doctors went on strike when medicare was introduced in Saskatchewan before it spread to the rest of Canada.  A compromise was hatched which in fact left a gaping hole in the Canadian system which persists and widens today.

    However the US can do it right with HR676.

    I'm mad as Gravel, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

    by ceti on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:51:13 AM PST

    •  "life, liberty, and persuit of happyness" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      undersiege, Quicksilver2723, xysea

      You could make the claim that universal healthcare is part of the "life" aspect.

      The analogy I'd make is to ask people to try to imagine that when they call the police because a burgler has broken into their house and is approaching the bedroom, imagine if the dispatcher first wanted to verify that the caller is paid up on their Police Care Policy.

      Obviously that scenario would be terrible, but that's what we have for healthcare. Anyone in favor of keeping health insurance companies around should explain why they shouldn't extend that line of reasoning to include police insurance, rather than tax-payer funded universal police coverage.

      Investigate War Lies --> Evidence for Senate Conviction --> End the War. Got it?

      by bejammin075 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:54:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except that the declaration of independence (0+ / 0-)

        is not in law.  It is a pious hope of what we are entitled to.  It severed our ties with England, but it didn't create a government.

        The Constitution is what you get when you start with life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness being what you want in the first step of the negotiation.

        Therefore, when you start a negotiation, you'd better ask for exactly what you want.

    •  Huh? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Jiminy Cricket

      A single-payer system is mandatory insurance.  Everyone -- in the form of payroll taxes -- would have to contribute to the system.  H.R. 676, for example, uses in part a payroll tax (paid by everyone) to finance such a plan (see section 211 of the bill).  That's mandatory insurance, my friend.

      The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

      by jim bow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:42:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hillary Clinton Will Not Be Able To Pass... (5+ / 0-)

    Universal Health Care. It takes more than a President, it take working majorities in both houses. We won't have that in a Clinton administration.

    Barack Obama will have a mandate - if you'll excuse the phrase - to enact his policies. Hillary Clinton will not.

  •  Nice handle by the way (4+ / 0-)

    JP Narayan was a great Indian freedom fighter who challenged Indira Gandhi's breaking of election laws that led to her short-lived emergency rule in 1975, and called for a peaceful total revolution. Sadly, his ideals faltered as he took ill and passed away in 1979.

    I'm mad as Gravel, and I'm not going to take it anymore!

    by ceti on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:57:52 AM PST

    •  Narayan is one of my favorite (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chicago Lulu, thewhiterabbit

      Indian political figures, he loved the Congress party for its ideals but never succumbed to the temptation to turn it into the machine that it became.

      It may sound harsh, but one of the reasons I'm skeptical of Hillary is that I think there's a bit too much of Indira in her. And that is both a good thing and a dangerous thing. Hillary just happens to think that governing is her right -- that we should just know whats best for us and give in already. Her tantrum in NH reeked of this:

      "I just have so many good ideas. Some of us are ready from day one and some of us just haven't thought it through!"

      That comment freaked the hell out of me, and its still hard to put my finger on why.

      •  Yes and no (0+ / 0-)

        Clinton does appear to me, too, to have some of the not-nice characteristics of Indira Gandhi; though Clinton would probably not put up with "Indira is India and India is Indira" type nonsense.

        Jayaprakash Narayan had his finest moment with the emergency in 1975; or else I don't recall him being particularly constructive.

      •  Yes! (0+ / 0-)

        There have been many countries who have had women as their leader, and almost unfailingly they were relatives of former leaders. Like in my current home, Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri was the president prior to the current one - daughter of Sukarno, who was leader at independence and who at the time had a New Improved whitewashed image after Suharto's total suckage. I would love for her election to mean that Indonesia is a bastion of women's rights (it is pretty damn good for a developing country and a Muslim country), but it just doesn't mean that. It means these countries value blood ties and nepotism over gender - hardly values that I want for us.

        If Clinton (and Megawati) were amazing in all respects other than that, I could forgive them, of course. But Megawati wasn't. And the resemblance of Clinton to so many other women leaders is one of many factors that disturbs me about her candidacy.

  •  Everybody's entitled to their defintion of "big". (5+ / 0-)

    Now, Clinton says she's going to "enforce" her mandate.  But if we're going to look at what she says (as opposed to what's in her plan,) then we should look at what Obama says too.  He says he's willing to implement a mandate if we're able to lower healthcare costs first.  So there's no big difference.

    To me it is a very big difference between enforced madates (Clinton's claim) and "mandates, if we're able to lower healthcare costs first" (Obama's contingent claim).

    •  I thought that was strange too. (6+ / 0-)

      Barack is firmly against mandates!

      Unless you think mandates are necessary, in which case he is firmly in favor of them!

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:16:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  but what if Mrs. Clinton's contingent (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity

      claim that the cost of care will come down after the mandate doesn't happen?

      •  There is the experience of the rest of the world. (7+ / 0-)

        The per-capita cost of healthcare in the rest of the industrialized world, which has mandated universal care, is that it costs (on average) less than half what ours costs.

        •  are you saying that the costs are lower in other (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          undersiege

          countries because they have mandates, or are there other factors?  Is the main cost reduction feature of Mrs. Clinton's plan mandates?

          •  Don't confuse costs with premiums. (6+ / 0-)

            Sen Clinton has plans to rationalize the health care delivery system just as Sen Obama does. This is the issue of 'costs'.

            Both candidates have plans to supervise the health insurance industry. This is the issue of 'premiums'.

            Both candidates have plans to provide subsidies to persons who cannot afford the premiums.  

            Mandates are necessary to control the premiums and thereby control the cost of the subsidies paid from the general fund, because if the subsidies cost too much, the Rs will gut the plan.

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:58:53 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but how does the mandate keep the premiums (0+ / 0-)

              lower - is it economies of scale?  Am I on the wrong track here?

              •  Think 'pool'. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                autoegocrat, Jiminy Cricket

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:33:37 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Per Professor Krugman, (8+ / 0-)

                here are the reasons and mechanisms for mandates:

                Why have a mandate? The whole point of a universal health insurance system is that everyone pays in, even if they’re currently healthy, and in return everyone has insurance coverage if and when they need it.

                And it’s not just a matter of principle. As a practical matter, letting people opt out if they don’t feel like buying insurance would make insurance substantially more expensive for everyone else.

                Here’s why: under the Obama plan, as it now stands, healthy people could choose not to buy insurance — then sign up for it if they developed health problems later. Insurance companies couldn’t turn them away, because Mr. Obama’s plan, like those of his rivals, requires that insurers offer the same policy to everyone.

                As a result, people who did the right thing and bought insurance when they were healthy would end up subsidizing those who didn’t sign up for insurance until or unless they needed medical care.

                In other words, when Mr. Obama declares that "the reason people don’t have health insurance isn’t because they don’t want it, it’s because they can’t afford it," he’s saying something that is mostly true now — but wouldn’t be true under his plan.

                The fundamental weakness of the Obama plan was apparent from the beginning. Still, as I said, advocates of health care reform were willing to cut Mr. Obama some slack.

                But now Mr. Obama, who just two weeks ago was telling audiences that his plan was essentially identical to the Edwards and Clinton plans, is attacking his rivals and claiming that his plan is superior. It isn’t — and his attacks amount to cheap shots.

                First, Mr. Obama claims that his plan does much more to control costs than his rivals’ plans. In fact, all three plans include impressive cost control measures.

                Second, Mr. Obama claims that mandates won’t work, pointing out that many people don’t have car insurance despite state requirements that all drivers be insured. Um, is he saying that states shouldn’t require that drivers have insurance? If not, what’s his point?

                Look, law enforcement is sometimes imperfect. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws.

                Third, and most troubling, Mr. Obama accuses his rivals of not explaining how they would enforce mandates, and suggests that the mandate would require some kind of nasty, punitive enforcement: "Their essential argument," he says, "is the only way to get everybody covered is if the government forces you to buy health insurance. If you don’t buy it, then you’ll be penalized in some way."

                Well, John Edwards has just called Mr. Obama’s bluff, by proposing that individuals be required to show proof of insurance when filing income taxes or receiving health care. If they don’t have insurance, they won’t be penalized — they’ll be automatically enrolled in an insurance plan.

              •  What Clem said above (4+ / 0-)

                The more people who are covered, the larger the insurance risk pool, allowing for lower premiums.

                (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

                by autoegocrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:20:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  why are costs lower? due to mandates? (0+ / 0-)

            Costs are lower in govt. health care situations because you cut out the 20-40 percent given over to insurance companies.  

          •  no its because they don't have any middleman (0+ / 0-)

            otherwise known as "insurance companies". Medical care is simply taxpayer paid like police, fire, schoolteachers...

      •  Bringing down costs (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mrchumchum

        Both candidates propose severe supervision over insurance companies to hold premiums down.

        Both candidates also propose major reforms in the medical care system which will reduce costs.

        The first is not the second.

        These are separate topics.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:54:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman left some things out (22+ / 0-)

    I posted this on the other thread, but it bears repeating here.

    I spent the $5 required to download the paper on which Krugman based his column, and there were some important things that he left out.

    First, the paper includes the following acknowledgement, which Krugman nowhere admits (either in this column, or any of his others that I've seen:

    But mandates are politically unpopular, so politicians may want to focus instead on ensuring that everyone who wants insurance can afford to have it.

    The major objection to mandates is that including them in a plan effectively paints a gigantic target on the plan, and tells the opponents of ANY real reform, "Here's where to shoot."  The screams of anguish from Hillary supporters about the Obama mailer pointing out that mandates would force people to buy insurance that they didn't think they could afford are mild compared to what's coming.  Apparently, Hillary has really learned nothing from her previous experience with trying to get health insurance reform enacted.

    But more glaring is Krugman's omission of the following caveat that is present in the paper on which he bases his column:

    The second option is to move from the universal access approach in the first column to a universal coverage approach. This can be accomplished by adding an individual mandate, a requirement that all individuals obtain insurance coverage, to the universal access option. This is similar to what is required for auto insurance in many states, and was a centerpiece of the recent Massachusetts reform plan. We have no experience to date with such a mandate, so it is hard to predict the success of enforcement. But, if penalties are strong (as they are in Massachusetts, where individuals are liable for half of insurance premiums even if uninsured), the mandate is likely to be close to universal. For simplicity here I assume that the mandate provides close to universal coverage, although in practice some individuals are likely to "slip through the
    cracks".16

    And footnote 16 states as follows:

    In particular I assume that 95% of those who would not voluntarily choose to insure are forced to insure through
    the mandate.

    The closest Krugman comes to acknowledging that these "estimates" amount to no more than WAFGs (Wild-Assed Fucking Guesses) is where he says:

    As with any economic analysis, Mr. Gruber’s results are only as good as his model.

    The problem isn't with Gruber's MODEL, it's with his ASSUMPTIONS, which Gruber (but not Krugman) acknowledges are based on no actual experience.  Any of us can pull numbers out of thin air, and justify any conclusions we want.  I can assume that people will thumb their noses at mandates, and they'll cover NOBODY who doesn't want to be covered.  (And as Gruber acknowledges, but Krugman never does, unless there are some pretty draconian penalties for non-compliance, there's likely to be widespread non-compliance.)

    I've really lost a great deal of respect for Krugman as a result of his cherry-picking Gruber's conclusions, without aknowledging the weak basis for his assumptions.

    And for the Hillary supporters who will undoubtedly insist that I made up the above quotes from Gruber's paper, you can register, pay $5, and download it from this source:

    http://www.nber.org/...

    "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

    by leevank on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:10:40 AM PST

    •  you can get it for free (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      highacidity, farleftcoast, Texdude50

      from krugman's blog

      The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman, using right wing talking points.

      by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:12:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're quibbling. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Notanicegirl

      I can assume that people will thumb their noses at mandates, and they'll cover NOBODY who doesn't want to be covered.  (And as Gruber acknowledges, but Krugman never does, unless there are some pretty draconian penalties for non-compliance, there's likely to be widespread non-compliance.)

      Of course, you can play your Humpty-Dumpty game with the word "mandate", but it does have built in the implication of authoritative enforcement.

      •  "Authoritative enforcement" (5+ / 0-)

        You can't get much more in the way of "authoritative enforcement" than getting put in jail, and yet in every state I know of with mandatory automobile liability insurance (which is the great majority of states), even though you can get put in jail for driving without insurance, people do it.

        Is Hillary going to put people in jail for not buying health insurance?  If not, her mandates are clearly going to be less effective than the ones for buying auto insurance.  HOW WILL SHE ENFORCE HER MANDATES?  This isn't "quibbling," it's the crux of the problem:

        The more onerous the penalties, the more effective the mandates will be (although they'll NEVER get to 100%), but the less politically palatable the plan will be.  The less onerous the mandates, the less effective they will be, and the further her plan will be from achieving the goal of 100% coverage which she has claimed (in the total absence of any actual evidence) that it will achieve.

        "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

        by leevank on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:42:11 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  There are standard enforcement protocols (3+ / 0-)

          for mandating payments, including garnishing wages, siezing assets, and in extreme cases incarceration.  But IIRC all of the proposals include some form of coverage for those unable to pay.  (In fact, we already have that feature in the form of emergency rooms that must care for all arrivals, a large fraction of whom never pay their bill.)

        •  What Krugman said (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright

          Third, and most troubling, Mr. Obama accuses his rivals of not explaining how they would enforce mandates, and suggests that the mandate would require some kind of nasty, punitive enforcement: "Their essential argument," he says, "is the only way to get everybody covered is if the government forces you to buy health insurance. If you don’t buy it, then you’ll be penalized in some way."

          Well, John Edwards has just called Mr. Obama’s bluff, by proposing that individuals be required to show proof of insurance when filing income taxes or receiving health care. If they don’t have insurance, they won’t be penalized — they’ll be automatically enrolled in an insurance plan.

          It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

          by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 11:37:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  That doesn't solve the problem (0+ / 0-)

            First, if you wait until they receive health care, you do nothing about the main argument against Obama's position, which is that people will attempt to "game the system" by not buying insurance until they need health care.  So you clearly won't cover everybody.

            And you've also got the problem of assuring payment.  You can enroll whoever you want, but you've still got to collect the money for the premiums.  There simply is no easy way out of this.  The ONLY way to assure that everybody is covered is a system financed by tax revenues, and NOBODY who has a chance to become President has proposed such a system, because they all realize that, however much some people (including myself, and I believe including all the Democratic candidates) might think that's the ideal system, it's politically unachievable at this point in our history.

            If it were put up to a referendum, with some kind of elimination process, I'd vote for Kucinich's plan, and I suspect that most if not all of the Presidential candidates would do so, as well.  In fact, Obama has said that if he were designing the system from scratch, that's the way he'd go.

            But you don't need to talk to many people who have good health insurance, including a great many very loyal Democrats, to discover that they're not willing to go in that direction.  So then the question becomes, "What is the best that we can realistically achieve?"

            I think that's assuring reasonably affordable coverage for everybody who wants it, without regard to pre-existing conditions, and that won't cut them off or increase their premiums if they or somebody who works for their small employer gets sick.  Individual mandates for adults who don't want to buy insurance are going to arouse opposition to the entire plan, and are likely to defeat the goal of getting ANYTHING enacted.  

            "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

            by leevank on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:54:53 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I only wanted to point out (0+ / 0-)

              that no one is going to prison if they don't sign up ,as some are claiming, they will simply be enrolled.

              Just wanted to counter that completely false scare tactic.

              It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

              by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:48:17 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  But if they "will simply be enrolled" when ... (0+ / 0-)

                they need medical care, then there WON'T be universal coverage, and Hillary's entire claim (that her plan will cover everybody, and Obama's won't) is a LIE, since NEITHER of them will cover everybody.

                "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

                by leevank on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:53:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Mandates will not (0+ / 0-)

        be very affective in my opinion. The following is from 2005, but it points out how huge the number of people working under the table may be. Mandates won't touch them. In fact the number working under the table would grow much larger in my opinion if they were forced to pay health insurance on top of regular taxes.

        On the growth of the informal economy, UCLA Anderson economist Christopher Thornberg noted that roughly 1.9 million Californians, or 12.4 percent of the overall workforce, seem to be working at something other than a standard job. Some are contract workers and on the books, but others are under the table.

        "This should be an ongoing concern for policymakers, as little is known about what these folks do, the type of benefits they may or may not have, and of course whether or not they pay taxes,'' Thornberg wrote.

        Sandi Mason, an employment specialist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, said federal job counters don't know much about this phenomenon other than that it exists and is an appreciable part of the workforce in many states.

        Idaho, for instance, has a slightly larger percentage of informal workers than California, she said. Washington, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Texas are also right above or below the 10 percent mark.

        Wells' Anderson said employers may want to pay employees off the books to beat the rising costs of health care benefits.

        http://www.sfgate.com/...

        ~*-:¦:-jennybravo-:¦:-*~

        by jennybravo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:47:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But Obama has mandates for families with children (4+ / 0-)

          That's also pretty silly given your observation, isn't it?

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:35:16 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've felt like a broken record lately (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            by trying to point that out too.

            It is very concerning to me how few of Obama supporters have seemed to read their own candidate's plan. I guess I've always assumed most people here at Daily Kos had read Edwards, Obama and Clinton's plans, if not at the very least their own candidate's plans.

            It is frustrating to me that the debate between the 2 plans is wrongly cast as "No Mandates" vs. "Mandates". In reality it is an debate of "Partial Mandates" vs. "Universal Mandates". That really needs to be acknowledged or else we are all just spinning our wheels here.

            It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

            by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 11:51:55 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree totally (0+ / 0-)

              I think all this arguing over their health care plans is silly.  Both are very vague, just ideas really, and pretty similar ideas that will both go through many changes before either becomes law. I do know Obama has mandates for children. I still think mandates will cause some problems.

              ~*-:¦:-jennybravo-:¦:-*~

              by jennybravo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:30:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  I realize (0+ / 0-)

            that you haven't read all my other comments on this since they are spread out all over the place. But my basic premise is that arguing over their healthcare palns is kind of goofy since they are both pretty vague at this point and not all that different.

            And yes, I do know Obama has mandates for children. That will reach the children of parents who work above board, but you're right, it won't do anything for the other children. I certainly have been trying to argue my points reasonably concerning mandates and am not meaning to slam Hillary about it. I just meant to say why I felt mandates may cause some problems.And I also find it interesting that there is this huge population of folks working under the table that will not be affected by mandates. And nobody is mentioning them.

            ~*-:¦:-jennybravo-:¦:-*~

            by jennybravo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:26:27 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  your model is the set of your assumptions (0+ / 0-)

      That's what a model is.

      •  But Then (0+ / 0-)

        Don't cite the conclusions of the model without citing the assumptions! Especially the 95% of the currently uninsured would get insurance number ... that being a pure assumption, neither a result of the model not a number based on facts.

      •  That isn't ALL a model is (0+ / 0-)

        The model explains what happens under given assumptions.  And there are assumptions, and then there are guesses, and the 95% figure is a guess.

        If I have a model that assumes that the birth rate will be 14.1 births per 1,000 population next year, that's one thing.  (It was 14.17 last year, and the population is getting a little older.)  Similarly, a model might assume life expectancy at birth, on which there is ample data.  There's not a guarantee that people might not suddenly start having many more or many fewer kids, or that a sudden medical advance might vastly increase life expectancy, but these are assumptions based on real data.

        The assumption of nearly universal compliance in the paper on which Krugman's column is based is based on no data at all, and from the data that we DO have that seems at all relevant -- that dealing with automobile liability insurance -- it seems quite unreasonable.

        Currently, the percentage of drivers who are uninsured ranges from 26% in Mississippi to 4% in Maine.  Nowhere is compliance with mandatory insurance nearly universal -- even though you can go to jail in many states for driving without it.

        Here are the uninsured driver rates  in some states that I KNOW have mandatory auto liability insurance:

        California: 25%
        Arizona: 22%
        Texas: 16%
        Maryland: 12%
        Missouri: 12%

        Why anyone would assume that you would get virtually universal compliance with health insurance mandates when no state has achieved anything close to it with auto insurance mandates is frankly beyond me -- unless they've got an agenda they want to advance, which Krugman clearly seems to.

        "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither liberty nor security." -Ben Franklin

        by leevank on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:20:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I Would Give You 1000 Recommends If I Could (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leevank

      I have posted essentially the same objections in another comment of mine:

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      where I have cited further reasons why the study is illegitimate (and certainly not designed) for citing hard numbers.

      And not to mention that Gruber is the guy who helped made the Massachussets plan and so of course he would be biased towards mandates.

      "Instead, Gruber argued for a more incremental approach, like the one in Massachusetts he helped write."
      (Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/...

      It's like those scientific papers defending drugs written with funding support from the drug companies.

      (Note: I have never seen your comments before, so great minds ...? Although unlike you, I didn't need to pony up the money since I have an academic subscription. And by the way, note that you have to put in the copyright notice if you cite the paper:

      "© 2008 by Jonathan Gruber. All rights reserved. Short sections of text, not to exceed two paragraphs,
      may be quoted without explicit permission provided that full credit, including © notice, is given to
      the source.")

  •  I have to say that this is a much less slanted (7+ / 0-)

    diary than that other one.  Thanks.

  •  THIS IS SO 1984! (13+ / 1-)

    weird to see this is a "progressive" site
    you have to wonder

    Obama and his campaign unleashed and rehashed a classic REPUBLICAN attack ad AGAINST UHC - and not just Republican - but an ad that had been created by the INSURANCE LOBBY!

    Hardly Democratic. Hardly Progressive.

    Anything that speaks truth to the Obama hero-worship, wish-fulfillment is immediately attacked with double-talk and outright lies. Astonishing.

    Article after article in the NYTimes, Chicago Tribute, LATimes, and on and on has reported Obama's republican-llite policy proposals, his getting into bed with the biggest Nuclear energy company, dis dealings with Rezko, his own hero-worship of Regean -- and now his campaign against universal health coverage.

    This may be a CENTRIST-RIGHT platform, but it is NOT a DEMOCRATIC one!

    At least be honest about what you are supporting.

    Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

    by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:21:40 AM PST

    •  1984's Orwellian Healthcare (4+ / 0-)

      What do you mean "1984"?

      Do you mean mid-Reagan, when US health insurance was a wasteful, redundant, for-profit industry leaving many people uninsured and the insured paying too much (continuing today)?

      Or do you mean "pure propaganda from both 'opposing' parties" that just split hairs instead of achieving the goal of universal healthcare without restraint by ability to pay?

      Because both Clinton and Obama leave the insurance industry extracting their profits while directing healthcare according to their bottom line. It's guaranteed insurance profits for corporations, not guaranteed healthcare for people.

      Which is both Orwellian when presenting their two plans as the two ends of "the spectrum" of alternatives, and leaves us in the uninsured condition we were in 24 years ago.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:27:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hero Worshipping Reagan? (12+ / 0-)

      I think Obama is too corporatist to be really happy with him. But this business of Obama "hero worshipping", or even recommending Reagan as anything but a successful cross-Party campaigner, is total BS.

      Obama said Reagan showed how to get the other party's voters to go along with the political transformation he led. I could see how that would confuse some people who see everything in black & white, without the relative sophistication of being able to admire the success of something bad. But since Obama said at the same time that Reagan got Democrats to vote against their self-interest, it's obvious that Obama doesn't "worship" Reagan.

      You might have some kind of argument with Obama's healthcare plan campaign. But if you're going to repeat the baseless hype that Obama thinks Reagan was good for America or for Democrats, you just discredit yourself. And any argument you make is more suspect.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:31:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well, frankly, at a certain point one thing leads (6+ / 0-)

        into another - at least for me -

        he praises Reagan - yes praised - for whatever reason

        and then unleashes a classic Republican and insurance lobby scripted attack ad against universal health coverage

        and then the NYTimes publishes an expose on their front page about how he got into bed with one of the biggest Nuclear engergy companies - backpeddling on regulatory legistation that he himself proposed so that it suited the company's interests - and now the top executives are his biggest contributers!

        This notion that Paul Krugman is out on a personal destruction campain against Obama is just such total bullcrap its hardly bearable - for months he has been critiquing the POLICY - not the person - and yet we get a diary like this one.

        Are we democrats and progressives or what? Obama is NOT really presenting himself as a democrat as far as I am concerned - I mean, this is even more center-right platform than the New Democrat talk of 1992.

        Its very very diffiult to know what it is really other than hope and "change we can believe in."

        This health policy he lays out is NOT progressive. There is no way you can argue that it is.

        Even JOHN EDWARDS in his last debate compared Obama's plan to the REPUBLICAN drive to PRIVATIZE social security!!! So where are all the former Edward's supporters here?

        If he is the nominee I wll probably vote for a third party candidate - on the left!

        And frankly, at this point, I am looking forward to the backlash of this mass movement.

        Revolutions devour their young.

        The country builds up secular phantom heros only to rip them down.

        This will be no different.

        When the backlash comes, it will be fierce. As rapid and irrational as the ascent.

        That is the unwritten law of American media and polics now.

        So.. a tangent..

        but I found this diary infuriating and Orwellian to the extreme.

        Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

        by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:13:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tangent (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          autoegocrat, cybrestrike

          Yeah, it's a tangent.

          Obama said that Reagan was impactful in a way that Clinton was not. Specifically that Reagan transformed politics by getting opposing party voters to instead vote for him, so he could do what he wanted, which was to transform politics with that kind of support. The 1984 election is a case in point. Which any politician would love to see, and which Clinton did not manage to do. The 1996 election and the 1998 impeachment is a case in point, considered against the Republican conversion of the government starting with Reagan, through Bush's 2004 election.

          If you can't understand the tremendous value of getting that kind of consensus, including the opposition party's members, that Reagan got and Clinton didn't, you don't understand politics. And I don't mean some purely cynical value - I'm talking about the simple power to lead the majority of people according to your agenda, without even their partisan membership getting in the way.

          I'm not arguing that Obama's plan is progressive. I'm not even talking about his plan in this thread. I'm talking about your total inability to understand Obama's point about Reagan. And, evidently, your inability to even talk about it, instead of descending into an offtopic rant.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:20:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I understand fully what he meant with the Reagan (6+ / 0-)

            reference.

            the problem is, he does not have a progressive platform - not in this election cycle  - and not in his book

            its one thing to try to get people to vote against their own interests - as Reagan might have done

            its another to sell your soul and the principles of your party as you do it

            this isn't about co-opting people to get through a progressive agenda

            it is about creating an entirely new entity that is neither democratic or republican but something unexplained and vague in the middle? center-right? but certaintly not to the left - that is quite clear

            if you think he will win and put through a truly progressive agenda, you are dreaming - and that is also not reflecting anywhere in his very limited record

            so i get the point about Reagan
            and I also get what Obama is doing so successfully

            the truth is, with his consensus Reagan got very little of note done
            except Iran-Contra
            it was all smoke and mirrors - and Dynasty on TV

            Obama is offering the same kind of cultural - but not necessarily political - change

            its obvious you're in awe of the idea of building a consensus - but this is not consensus building - it is "football politics" - it is a mass movement being fed by a mass media frenzy - most of the people going to his rallies probably couldn't even tell you who Reagan was, much less LBJ, who, amazingly has become a talking point and a mainstream reference.

            as you acknowledge, his policy is not progressive - and this was once a progressive site - no longer

            Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

            by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:34:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  if you're progressive (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DocGonzo, Palladio

              then you ARE a partisan.

              I've never got what post-partisan means anyway? I don't know about everyone else but I wish the Democratic congress was more partisan in fighting for our progressive ideals - not less.

              It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

              by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:03:53 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Blah Blah Blah (0+ / 0-)

              I'm not "in awe of building a consensus". I'm just honest about what Obama said and meant, which was perfectly clear to anyone not a blinded partisan.

              Meanwhile, you're insisting on arguing about the progressiveness of Obama's platform, which I'm not talking about in this thread.

              Besides, you claim Reagan didn't accomplish anything except Iran/Contra (really Reagan/Bush in 12 years), which is one of the most insupportable political statements I've ever heard. How about the $1.5T S&L heist? And the Osamafication of Afghanistan? The launch of Star Wars? The crippling blows to labor? An entire shadow government of global covert actions masquerading as "Iran/Contra/S&L", operating now for decades and $TRILLIONS, including ongoing Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Colombia and other operations? What about just the establishment of "Conservatism" as America's mainstream political bent, reversing generations of liberalism?

              Reagan's achievements were mostly hellish, but they were certainly real and longer-lasting than, say, Clinton's (which were Obama's comparison). Just because the devil makes a big impact doesn't mean I'm "in awe of him". But not to recognize Reagan's transformational impact on politics is deluded. To be unable to distinguish between importance and value, and then to start accusing me of "awe" of Reagan is to end this conversation. Goodbye.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:29:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  Please explain (0+ / 0-)

        "Obama is too corporatist to be really happy with him"

        Who exactly are you referring to, and how is Obama remotely corporatist given his record of positions?

        •  Healthcare Corporations (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          undersiege, votermom, rcbowman

          His healthcare system that we're discussing doesn't strike the heart of the problem: the profit extraction and its protection from sick people by health insurance corps. Only corporatists are protecting the American corps that are the last ones in an industrialized country to have the power they do.

          What Obama's plan does do, apart from protecting those insurance corporations, is to ensure that the healthcare corporations, including the pharmacos, get paid. From the corporate point of view, the problem with America's health insurance/care system is that there are too many people who could be consuming healthcare, but don't because they can't pay for it. Obama's system ensures that many more of those people are conduits for payments. Yes they get healthcare, but the prices are still inflated to profit insurance middlemen who add nothing. And the quality of the care is still stuffed with waste. The extra cost will be borne somewhere, like the government, if indeed it turns out not to mandate poor people buy insurance they can't really afford, just like on cars (but at least cars are still optional in the foreseeable future). Which would be OK, by spreading the cost around to everyone in this big country.

          But that private insurance profit is unnecessary and counterproductive. Not only do our foreign competitors do without it (except as something truly optional), but we ourselves have plenty of government insurance and healthcare, in Medicare, Medicaid, VA and other public hospitals. Instead of admitting that the corporate health care/insurance system has failed, and that we can replace it with something that works, Obama is patching the system. Patching the hole that is insurance corps failing to get paid, not the hole that is people not getting healthcare.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:11:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks for the explanation (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo

            This - focusing their programs around the existing, entrenched health insurance industry - is the problem with both HRC and BHO's programs, and I wish the progressives here, whoever they support in the primaries, would step back from sniping at the opposing candidate and his or her supporters, and start arguing that point with their own candidates. Read those programs, and start twisting your own candidate's arm about it - the programs are both way too little, too weak, too timid, and will not, most likely, lead to any real progress.

            Let me recommend grannyhelen's diary as a bit of an antidote to the misdirected vitriol here. I'd rather see that on the Rec list than any other diary I've yet seen on this subject.

            Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

            by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:14:34 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Crux of problem--what value for-profit insurers (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DocGonzo

            add to the health care delivery system is the "real" question.

            Answer:  none--it's a false choice.  Any candidate who doesn't appreciate that point at some fundamental level is just feeding the US public policy proposals that are simply smoke and mirrors.  Any plan not capping profit or taking profit motive out of insurance (which is both anti-consumer/anti-capitalist, from the delivery side/consumer side, and is NOT the same as taking profit motive out of the health care delivery system--technology, pharma, hospitals) will be a bandaid and leave the US in the same morally untenable position--millions of uninsured.  

            But as is our nature, even among Dems, none will be willing to share the burdens (possibly taking a marginal degree of less premium care for themselves and/or paying for UHC as a tax) and once again all hopes for cost effective UHC will crash and burn.  Watch.

            Another real question:  why can every industrialized country in the world provide its citizens quality universal healthcare at less of a per capita cost than the US?

            Answer:  they've removed the blood sucking leach of for-profit insurance from the health care delivery system.   There's no such thing as "claims procesing."  You show up, the doctor diagnoses and treats the condition you have based upon need.  And yes doctors probably make a little less than American physicians though are likely more happy with their chosen profession--treating and healing human beings--without all the insurance administrative bullshit.

            Every time we as progressives say "UHC" isn't politically possible we are feeding both the rhetoric of the right wing and setting up a self-fulfilling prophesy despite what polling data says on the subject i.e. people want single payer health care for all.  I'm sick to death of this entire dishonest political debate.  Frame it as a moral question every single day and twice on Sunday.  

            America is broken at a fundamental moral level, and while both Sen. Obama and Clinton are marginally better mainstream Dems and superior to any member of the GOP, you're deluding yourself if you think major changes will come under either.  America's problems are two-fold: its citizens are selfish, greedy, and incapable of having a shared purpose in anything other than war and its politicians are no longer statesman, incapable of leading anyone anywhere on anything of importance.

            "An entire credulous nation believed in Santa Claus, but Santa Claus was really the gasman." Gunter Grass

            by rrheard on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:46:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And how is the Clinton/Edwards plan any better (0+ / 0-)

            when it comes to stemming insurance company profits? The only major difference between their plan and Obama's is that their plan forces everyone to buy insurance. Of course, the only real way to bring universal health care is to move to a single-payer system and completely get rid of insurance industry control, but none of the candidates has proposed that. I would remind you, by the way, that Obama is the only candidate who has acknowledged that single-payer would be the ideal system.

      •  That's why I TR'd it (0+ / 0-)

        It's sickening that in the same comment that someone claims Obama is not a progressive, that they resort to Rove like tactics of repeating lies. It's even more sickening how many people rec'd it.

        Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

        by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:16:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They are both equally as likely... (0+ / 0-)

    to achieve universal healthcare

    Clinton - Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

    by dvogel001 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:21:40 AM PST

    •  We get one bite at this apple, friend. (11+ / 0-)

      If the Rs can put enough poison pills in the Democratic universal coverage plan, they can make it intolerably expensive and cause it to fail. Allowing individuals to opt out of the pool is one way to incrase the costs and decrease the benefit.

      If the Democratic universal coverage plan fails, it will be another 25 years before we can ever approach anyting universal again.

      If the Rs can in the future just shake their heads and say "It didn't work the last time, did it?" universal coverage is dead.

      Sen Clinton has been willing to put forward - despite its unattractiveness to some - a plan that she can stand behind and make succeed.

      Sen Obama proposes a plan that many believe will have mediocre success and intends time after time to go back to the Rs in Congress and say "If we just add this feature, I think my failed plan will succeed better".

      I'm with Sen Clinton.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:51:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  One bite (4+ / 0-)

        This would, of course, be the second bite for Clinton. Fifteen years later, we get another chance, and you want to go right back to her for your "one bite" again, because this time she's gonna get it right.

        No thanks.

      •  The Rethugs and Insurance... (0+ / 0-)

        industry will villify either plan and make them both sound like we are socialists with a new version of the "Harry and Louise" commercials of 1993.

        We always say that there is only one bite at the apple...out democracy has survived for over 230 years and will survive for many more...

        Clinton - Obama '08 Winning Change for America and the Democratic Party

        by dvogel001 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:07:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, and Senator Clinton can write the bill... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rcbowman

        ...that President Obama signs. After passing the filibuster-proof senate that we are more likely to get with Obama at the top of the ticket.

        President Bill Clinton couldn't get a health care bill passed with a narrow Democratic majority in the senate, remember? I don't see why President Hillary Clinton would have better luck and I sure don't see Hillary Clinton having  very strong coat tails as the presidential nominee. Quite the opposite, in fact.

        Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

        by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:01:27 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  + 11 net Senate pickup? (0+ / 0-)

          Can you please explain that. That certainly changes everything. Do you happen to know the names of any of the states where that's going to happen?

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:05:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We don't need 11, we need 9. (0+ / 0-)

            60 votes need to pass. We already have 51, don't we?

            And we probably be effectively filibuster-proof with five or six more and just scare the rest shitless with Obama's mandate.

            Then, there's always the "nuclear option." Frankly, we don't seem to use the filibuster as well as Rethugs do, anyway.

            Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

            by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:16:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  O/T: the nuclear option dealt with judicial (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Strabo

              confirmations.

              You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

              by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:25:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Doesn't matter. The senate makes its own rules. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright

                The threat was to remove the filibuster for judicial nominations, but the same parliamentary technique could be used to remove it altogether.

                Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:29:08 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Actually, not really. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Strabo

                  The question of how to change the rules of the continuing body is a difficult one. There is no certainty that the filibuster rule can be changed in the current environment.

                  The 'nuclear option' relied on the presiding officer making a ruling that the cloture rule could not constitutionally apply to judicial confirmations. Only a majority vote to uphold the chair was required.

                  You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                  by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:33:53 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm not saying it's certain that the votes... (0+ / 0-)

                    ...are there. But if a majority of senators want to do it and the vice president agrees, nothing says it could only cover judicial nominations.

                    Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                    by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:44:49 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Um, you're wrong, IMO. (0+ / 0-)

                      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:46:05 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Um, you are definitely wrong. (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Clem Yeobright

                        Where in the senate rules is the difference between ending the filibuster for judicial nominations and ending it for anything  else?

                        Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                        by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:51:57 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Don't mean to be argumentative (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          expatjourno, Strabo

                          This was all covered ad nauseum a couple years ago.

                          the 'nuclear option' depended upon a constitutional interpretation by the presiding officer relevant to judicial confirmations. IIRC, it didn't even apply to ambassadors, whose appointments are dealt with in a different article of the Constitution.

                          Sure, the Senate can throw away its rules altogether, but I don't think a lot of Senators are going to go along with that.

                          Read up on the history of the change of the filibuster rule from 2/3 down to 3/5. It was accomplished in a very peculiar manner unlikely to be repeated.

                          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:03:27 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, but this is all I'm saying: (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Clem Yeobright

                            Sure, the Senate can throw away its rules altogether, but I don't think a lot of Senators are going to go along with that.

                            I agree it's unlikely, I'm just saying that the senate could do it. The presiding officer could make the ruling. But I think I'll take your advice when I have a chance and look up how that rule was changed. I always kind of wondered about that and now you've really gotten me curious!

                            Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                            by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:22:53 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

            •  I wouldn't count Lieberman (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno, Clem Yeobright

              He's campaigning for McCain.

              Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

              by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:01:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  DHinMI diaried it on the front page. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            rcbowman

            His diary is here.

            Article he cited in CS Monitor does the analysis.

            Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

            by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:21:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  didn't we already have a bite at the apple? (0+ / 0-)

        i seem to remember something...clinton...early nineties...but oh, never mind.

        If wishes and buts were clusters of nuts we'd all have a bowl of granola!

        by vejoaronda on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:02:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  We will choke on either one. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rrheard, limpidglass

        We'd better get a second bite, or we're doomed.

        I would agree with dvogel001, but say it the other way around: both plans are equally as unlikely to achieve universal healthcare. As for what the candidates themselves might do, beyond these horribly weak, compromised plans, if either becomes president? I don't know, and no one else does, either, no matter what they say or believe or hope. We have to push both the candidates to improve their plans, to propose real, meaningful change, in place of their current sell-out plans.

        Excellent diary on this here.

        Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

        by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:22:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Funny that it comes down to this (0+ / 0-)

      The candidates' records and policy ideas are pretty similar to me and I guess, with the race tightening up, there's a need to find these distinctions.

      Bottom line is that they both want healthcare for everyone and have different paths to get there, neither path is vetted through Congress yet, neither idea has been worked through the process.

      I think DHinMI pointed out last night (and I'll have to trust him for accuracy) that FDR campaigned with few developed policies other than a balanced budget (and that was thrown out after he won).

      My point is, they want to get there and how they get there is, at best, only in proposal form, subject to change.

      At least they both want to get there.

      NetrootNews coming soon!

      by ksh01 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:25:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman is in panic mode (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArcXIX, SleepingWillow, Mojo Jojo

    He thought he was backing the winning horse. Now that his credibility is shot, and he knows he'll have no access in an Obama administration, he's pulling out all the stops.

    Sad to see an otherwise intelligent man fall on his face like this.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:23:36 AM PST

    •  I'm not that cynical (0+ / 0-)

      in an earlier article, Krugman praised Edwards' health plan and criticized both HRC and Obama for not being as bold (in his opinion) as Edwards was.

      I think that initially Krugman liked Edwards, which would naturally make him somewhat cool towards Obama (who was fighting with Edwards for the role of the progressive alternative to HRC). From there I think it just spiraled out of control and now he personally has an axe to grind with Obama.

      •  He didn't remain objective. (0+ / 0-)

        Nothing wrong with that. I'm not objective. But my career doesn't depend upon it.

        Krugman's does.

        He blew it. Does he think half his readers will support him over Obama?

        It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

        by Fishgrease on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:32:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not questioning his lack of objectivity (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Salo

          didn't I say that "he personally has an axe to grind with Obama"?

          I'm just saying that that lack doesn't necessarily indicate any mercenary motive on Krugman's part.

        •  You obviously know nothing about Krugman. (10+ / 0-)

          Krugman may be right, he may be wrong, but his career depends on this? That is the stupidest comment I've seen in a very long time. That's just embarrassingly dumb.

          Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

          by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:16:52 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Don't you know (5+ / 0-)

            Krugman may lose his job at Princeton if he gets this one wrong. :)

            The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

            by jim bow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:46:49 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And his John Bates Clark medal. (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jim bow, Jiminy Cricket, rrheard

              Probably have to resign as Centenary Professor at the London School of Economics and give up the Asturias Award given by the King of Spain. Maybe forfeit the royalties from his 20 books and more than 200 professional journal articles.

              To say nothing of his fellowship in the Econometric Society, his Research Associate-ship of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and his membership of the Group of Thirty.

              And I'm sure that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations, and countries like Portugal and the Philippines aren't going to want him to consult for them anymore if he gets it wrong on Obama's health care plan.

              Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

              by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:39:02 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  i do think there is a discernable bias (0+ / 0-)

            in Krugman's op eds, though.

            •  Hmm. Depends on what you mean. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SingularExistence, Salo

              I think he's biased towards the viable candidate with the most economically sensible health care plan. He'd probably actually have preferred Kucinic's plan. But of the top three, first it was Edwards, now I guess it's Clinton.

              Obama is pretty clearly wrong on this one. I don't think it matters, because I think he'll sign a better bill (like the one that will be introduced by Senator Clinton) if the Congress can pass one.

              Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

              by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:29:42 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  No. Obama IS NOT clearly wrong on this (0+ / 0-)

                one.  Mandates are a windfall for insurance companies.  Why on earth do you think Obama or Clinton would fight back the insurance industry in Congress on "day one" when a mandate hits the floor?!!!!

                •  Mandates are not necessarily a windfall... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  ...for insurance companies. If, as in Edwards' plan, the federal government is offering one of the plans, what is most likely is that the private insurance companies will not be able to compete and will wither away.

                  You actually do have to have a requirement that people have insurance, otherwise too many of them will wait until the last possible minute before signing up , i.e., just when they are getting sick. With only sick people in the system, the per person cost would be extremely high, driving more and more and more of the less sick out.

                  Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                  by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:05:05 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I understand this but... (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    expatjourno, Clem Yeobright

                    If the other cost-reduction reforms are co-opted by the insurance companies then costs will still rise and the mandate could break the budget.

                    •  Oh, yes. It'll take both. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Clem Yeobright

                      It'll have to be something like Medicare, with per person medical cost divided between the whole population, not just between the sick, as well as cost controls.

                      I'm certainly against requiring people to buy insurance at whatever price the private insurers want to charge!

                      Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                      by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 11:58:03 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Many people don't choose a candidate (7+ / 0-)

        and then find reasons to support his half-baked schemes.

        Many people choose their policies and then find the candidate who espouses them.

        You may find that funny, but it works for some of us.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:16:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You are crazy (10+ / 0-)

    what is this no-analysis, copy-and-paste diary just because Krugman doesn't endorse your Awesome candidate's plan?

    I recommend you start reading Krugman's non-popular economic analyses before jumping on to any conclusion on his thinking. You ever read his intra-industry trade theory? What about the latest macroeconomic analysis? Krugman is genius. However smart you think Obama is, Krugman is smarter.

    Ignorance and arrogance are astounding.

    •  Claptrap (6+ / 0-)

      I counted at least 7 solid paragraphs of analysis of these competing plans and experts' recommendations that the diary wrote, other than the letter they included with all its signatories.

      The diary spends some time criticizing Krugman, but defers to the other experts signing the letter for more expert analysis.

      There's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And there's nothing "crazy" about how they presented it.

      Contrast that with your comment which baselessly calls crazy something you just disagree with, which says there's no analysis when there's plenty, which doesn't have any counterargument except the "argument from authority" fallacy. Really a baseless attack on this diary, cloaked in an excuse to call Krugman a genius.

      Talk about ignorance and arrogance.

      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

      by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:38:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  How can it be a "fallacy" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arcparser, Clem Yeobright

        if you are not able to assess Krugman's credentials?

        What promots you to jump onto conclusions on issues you barely able to understand?

        Truly absurd.

        •  Absurd Fallacies (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          autoegocrat, rcbowman, cybrestrike

          The "argument from authority" is a fallacy. You are making it. You're saying "Krugman's other work is so smart that he's got to be right about this". You're the one who's not even bothering to argue the actual points in this diary. Krugman's credentials are irrelevant - his argument on this specific point is.

          And this diary has a well-argued counterpoint (from a mass of well-credentialed experts). Which analysis you even went so far as to deny existed, though it's plainly there right in the diary.

          So don't give me your worthless bluster about my ability to understand. You can't even recognize a simple logical fallacy when it's pointed out that you're using it. You can't even admit that this diary has analysis, whether or not you agree with it. You throw that word "absurd" around like you know what you're talking aobut. Here's another clue: your mass of self-contradictions is the only absurd comment available here.

          "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

          by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:27:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  "a mass of well-credentialed experts" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Arcparser, Jiminy Cricket, rrheard

            Isn't that the same 'argument from authority' you deplore?

            You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

            by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:51:08 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yeah, So What? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              Yeah, that's why I put it in parenthesis. It's irrelevant, but it also meets their own preference for authority if they're still insisting on that irrelevant point.

              You've been recommending them. What's your point? Do you think this is some kind of "gotcha" game where you look for some kind of way to claim you won? Or are you interested in actual logic and being right? If you're interested in gotcha, play it with yourself, because you can't waste my time anymore with it.

              "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

              by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:18:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  there. a rec for you. owie all good now? (0+ / 0-)

                You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:51:09 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Clem Yeobright

                  Your reducing the value of your recommends to meet the value of your criticism doesn't make me any better. Nor you, especially when delivered with condescension you haven't earned.

                  "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                  by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:32:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  In all seriousness (0+ / 0-)

                    Do you really look to see who recommends what comment? This is the first time I have heard of such a thing in the 2.5 years I have been here.

                    I am honestly stunned at the pettiness this appears to represent. I pretty generally rec about 90% of the comments I undertake to read; my fingers fly pretty automatically that way. I had no idea I was making a statement by doing so. I pretty much rec any comment I respond to and any in response to one of mine, as a way of passing the message that I have indeed seen the entry.

                    I really can't imagine investing the labor to examine who has recommended any comment. Where is the utility? The currency here seems awfully wooden to assign it any significance.

                    I am curious what it is you see that I am missing here.  Thanks for introducing me to something completely new. BTW: Do you think there are many people like you?

                    Peace

                    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

                    by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:14:50 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Honestly? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Clem Yeobright

                      Evidently you don't even "invest the labor" to see where your own recommends are landing.

                      I notice that your casual and consistent recommendation of nearly all the comments you reply to didn't include mine in this thread, though you were busy recommending those of the people disagreeing with me.

                      But please, keep educating me about people like you. Who waste your time in an exercise of producing what you not only aren't interested in reveiwing, but don't even notice you're doing differently than how you'd prefer to tell people you are.

                      AFAIK, there are plenty of people like me, though I wish there were more. Honest and serious, if not blowing out of proportion a small but telling signal designed to show what people think is important. Though not so serious as to take your recommendations or lack thereof as any indication of quality. Just an indication of people like you. Of which I'm all too aware how many there are.

                      "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

                      by DocGonzo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:39:09 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

    •  Krugman's a pretty smart guy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      but even he is capable of making mistakes and losing his objectivity.

    •  Krugman's intelligence is irrelevant (0+ / 0-)

      the question is who's side he's on, and he's answered that question by embracing a permanent future of guaranteed profits for the insurance industry.

      Just as you have.

      This is the kind of "progressivism" only a person on the payroll of the health insurance corporations or astroturfing on the behalf of an associated PR firm could love.

      Intelligence is irrelevant when it's used to create theories that fly in the face of the available evidence when one is too lazy to google.

      Australia tried the UHC via private insurance model. . . and no mandates. It was good enough.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:17:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pragmatic problems with mandates (8+ / 0-)

    You gave excellent progressive arguments against mandates, but here's a pragmatic one--they will play very, very poorly politically.

    Most Americans will see mandates as condescending and paternalistic.  We are used to paying taxes, but to force all citizens to buy a product is something new.  It plays into all the worst stereotypes about liberals and Clinton in particular--that we think we know better than ordinary people, that we're willing to limit choice and freedom for the common good.  Don't forget why we are urged to go out on this limb, why we must take such an untested into the most important general election in decades--to force the few dozen million people who don't want insurance to help subsidize the rest.  Is it really worth it?  Is it even close?

    Mandates will at least torpedo the good parts of Clinton's place (i.e., the rest of it), and are a liability to the White House itself.  The Clinton people here can barely sell DailyKos on mandates, and yet seriously expect to sell them to the entire country?

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

    by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:34:38 AM PST

    •  mandates start to make single payer look like a (4+ / 0-)

      more implementable idea. Many states have mandatory car insurance, but people drive anyway, and not everyone has a car. Life, on the other hand, is something that 100% of the living have.

      Investigate War Lies --> Evidence for Senate Conviction --> End the War. Got it?

      by bejammin075 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:12:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mandates are a tough sell on this site (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hester, nasarius, Clem Yeobright, Salo

      ...merely because Obama is against them. It's a cult thing. If he was for them and Hillary against, mandates would be elevated into a fetish object. Hope that helps.

      •  kinda like how mandates (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aisling, brendanm98, echatwa, cybrestrike

        are suddenly an essential, sacrosanct progressive issue, when formerly they were associated business-wing Republicans like Mitt and Arnold?

        And "cult thing"?  This is a relatively minor issue, a difference between otherwise similar plans that are both, hopefully, only vehicles to the infinitely preferable single-payer system that we really need.  We're arguing tactics here, and neither side has a clear-cut case.  Considering the shared goals of both candidates, there's no reason hit below the belt.

        "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

        by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:37:13 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  When have mandates ever been seen as conservative (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Clem Yeobright, Salo

          That's bizarre. Republicans who have adopted such a position are rather "third way" types like Arnold cribbing progressive ideas.

          It's like the Obamites were born yesterday, with history itself subject to be rewritten.

          •  they have been seen as conservative (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            aisling

            when arnold vetoed single payer in CA and proposes mandates instead.
            or in australia, when former PM howard proposed them.   (there was a link on the front page a few days ago about this.)  apparently the australian left saw mandates as a way of propping up corporate insurance.

            iirc, gingrich proposed mandates as an alternative to hillary's proposals in '93.

            •  Huh? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              nasarius, Clem Yeobright, Salo

              Single-payer is mandatory insurance, dumba$$.  Everyone has to contribute to the system in the form of payroll taxes.

              Also, when Barry Goldwater proposed making Social Security contributions voluntary (allowing people to opt out of Social Security), that was a Democratic thing?  Come on.

              The doctor said I wouldn't have so many nose bleeds if I kept my finger outta there. - Ralph Wiggum

              by jim bow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:49:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I see mandates as a varient of privatization (0+ / 0-)

                For example, fund public schools through tax dollars?  Progressive, just like funding a national health insurance program through taxes.  Fund private schools through vouchers?  Not so progressive.  And if we forced people to fund their own vouchers, using a system of credits and subsidies to keep from bankrupting the poor?  DailyKos would howl.

                That's not a great comparison--I wouldn't call mandates unliberal.  They're not conservative.  But I fail to see how they're necessarily liberal, either.  You see a necessary first step, I see life-support for insurance companies; a method of funding health care that should and hopefully will have no part in our ultimate goal.  I think this is a reasonable disagreement, certainly not grounds for name-calling.

                "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

                by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:16:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  sorry, but (0+ / 0-)

            When I see a method favored by the moderate right, used historically in liberal states that were crying out for serious health care reform, I get suspicious.  It seems like a compromise plan, something you use to appease reformists while still keeping the big players in the game.  It solves the most visible problem, the uninsured, while reinforcing the most insidious--for-profit insurance.  

            The liberal in me doesn't even have a big problem with mandates (the civil libertarian in me is repulsed, but I don't necessarily expect you to care).  However, I also don't have a big problem with not having them, and remain utterly unconvinced that they will help single payer get here any sooner.  Throw in the electoral liability they represent, and...

            "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

            by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:24:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  It really doesn't help at all (0+ / 0-)

        You can check the diary archives just as easily as anyone else and see for yourself how well mandated health insurance has been received on Daily Kos in the past.

        By the way, accusing the entire website of cult behavior is probably not a good way to get your point across, either. Hope that helps.

        Oh, shit. I said "hope." Quick, someone get me some Kool-Aid!

        (-5.88, -6.46) Democracy is what happens between elections.

        by autoegocrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:42:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  well just to watch some heads explode (0+ / 0-)

        Obama does have mandates in his plan (only for children though).

        It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

        by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:12:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not the same at all (0+ / 0-)

          We routinely mandate actions for children--vaccinations, education, freedom from negligence.  All of these can force adults to perform certain actions.  No one has any problem with this, partly because the adult in question is only being forced to act for the sake of a child, and partly because children are optional.

          Life isn't optional.

          (I won't even touch how this comparison makes will make many feel like you're treating American citizens like children...)

          (Or the constitutional issue; good luck arguing mandates before the Roberts court!)

          "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

          by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:30:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  a mandate is a mandate (0+ / 0-)

            my point is Obama has mandates, incomplete as they may be - they ARE mandates.

            It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

            by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:39:16 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  but mandates for children are easy to defend (0+ / 0-)

              Mandates for adults are easily framed as a freedom issue--"why should the government tell me what to buy?"  Mandates for children won't run afoul here for   the same reasons automobile liability insurance mandates don't.  You can opt out of them (by not driving/not having children) and they exist to benefit persons other than the mandated citizen (other drivers/children).

              It's hard to cry "nanny state" when a mandate forces parents to protect their children. It's easy when the reason you're even including a mandate is explicitly to force healthy adults to buy insurance they don't really even need and otherwise wouldn't buy.

              "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

              by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:48:03 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Disagree (0+ / 0-)

                Republicans will run ads showing a couple pouring over bills at their kitchen table and the headline will say something like:

                "Obama's healthcare plan forces families to buy insurance, even if they can't afford it. Is that the best we can do for families struggling with high healthcare costs?"

                And Obama won't be able to counter it because he already said it in his ad.

                It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

                by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:56:59 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  fair enough (0+ / 0-)

                  I disagree for the reasons I already said, and would furthermore add that Obama would counter such an attack by saying "McCaine will leave X million children without health care, my plan will not."  Still, your scenario isn't exactly impossible to imagine either...

                  Really, I'd rather not have mandates for anyone, even children.  Seems simpler just to have a tax-funded plan that covers people, children or otherwise, the moment they walk into the hospital.  But, that's not an option.  With Edwards out, I'll continue to support the candidate that I think has the best chance in the general.  A flawed band-aid on the current system like mandates isn't likely to make much of a difference in my choice.

                  "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

                  by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:35:51 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

  •  Let me see if I have this. (15+ / 0-)

    Sen Clinton has put forward a plan to accomplish universal coverage that contains a very controversial element that will probably cost votes.

    This is craven.

    Sen Obama has put forward a plan that says he can accomplish the same objective without the objectionable provision.

    This is politically courageous.

    Paul Krugman writes a newspaper column explaining why he agrees with Sen Clinton's plan.

    This is 'shredding the coalition'.

    Sen Obama sends an inflammatory mailer to millions of homes attacking Sen Clinton's plan.

    This is holding the coalition together.

    It's possible that it will be found never necessary to implement the unpopular provision. It's also possible that it will be determined absolutely  necessary to implement the provision if either plan is to succeed.

    Sen Clinton is amenable to never implementing the provision. Sen Obama is amenable to changing his plan to include the provision. Except: Sen Obama has put in the hands of his opponents - wait, I mean his 'fellow-reasoners of the right who happen to disagree' - the brochure they can blow up and display on the Senate floor or in fact turn into billboards all across America asserting that he will never introduce tht provision.

    How am I doing?

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:37:48 AM PST

    •  Who said Clinton was craven and Barack was (0+ / 0-)

      courageous?

      What I'm hearing is that Clinton is dumb and Barack is smart.

      Obama, a true inspiration.

      by SleepingWillow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:08:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think there's some truth to your argument (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrchumchum

      But let me say two things:

      1. Since advertising against mandates puts Obama in an anti-mandate corner on this, doesn't Clinton complaining about 15 million people not covered in Obama's plan paint her into a pro-mandate corner?  Doesn't it also give her enemies ammunition if more than a few million fall through the cracks of her plan?
      1. It's not like the kitchen-table ad wouldn't be the first thing out of the RNC if Clinton got the nom.  Back when Obama was complaining about the attacks twisting his words earlier this month all the Clinton people said "Stop whining, if you can't handle this you'd be screwed in the general".  Well here's a taste of what a pro-mandate wage-garnishing health plan candidate would get in the general.  It's better that our candidate gets vetted, right?  
    •  I agree but don't you think that going (0+ / 0-)

      for mandates right off could possibly be political trouble both in the general and once in office?

      I also think the claims on the other diary that Obama is a Republican in Dems clothing trying to kill UHC is not accurate.

    •  Clem, I wish supporters of Mrs. Clinton (0+ / 0-)

      would stop buying into Obama's stump speech.  I wish Obama's supporters would, too.  The purpose of his inspiring rhetoric is to get out the vote.  Many people aren't in the intellectual elite.  I consider his stump speeches to be the inverse of Republicans fear tactics to get people out to vote.  People who don't visit dKos, shall we say.  He's a cautious legislator.  Many of us haven't lionized him.  

  •  I don't understand Krugman's claims... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrchumchum

    Hillary's plan ensures an extra 22 million people while only costing an additional $22 billion a year -- a rate of $1000 a year.  That seems far too low unless you assume that almost all the people who would opt out of health care are healthy.  Krugman cites a study which I didn't try to track down; has anyone looked to see if there's an explanation?

    Not that it matters too much -- any plan is sure to be mauled over by congress anyway.

    •  re: low cost (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LIsoundview

      That seems far too low unless you assume that almost all the people who would opt out of health care are healthy.

      That the people who would opt out of health care would be mostly healthy is the entire point of mandates.  They are meant to keep healthy people from exploiting the system by only joining it when they need to.

      Which is arguably fair.  Throwing around that 22 million number like it represents a failure is disingenuous, though.

      "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

      by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 01:54:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I only support a mandate IF (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, echatwa, cybrestrike, leftneck

    we're talking abut full fledged single-payer.

    Otherwise it's wrong to mandate even part of the population to buy private insurance. Private insurance is a part of the problem.

    At least Obama is open in theory to single-payer, and his plan works to place greater regulation and reforms on Phrma and the insurance companies to lower price and provide the opportunity for access to health insurance for everybody. It's pointless and wrong to mandate people to buy or choose your insurance plan because of the reason I stated above, because not everybody is going to be able to afford it and not to mention, the republicans will not allow a mandate. Clinton didn't have one in the old plan and she didn't get it done. Now she has one and she's going to? nope.

  •  Mandates for Insurance (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leftneck

    is nothing more than a "Cash Cow" for the Insurance co. they are "Creaming their Jean" thinking this will happen.Should Clinton/Obama keep talking this BS It will hand the White House to the Republicans on a Silver Platter.

  •  SINGLE PAYER! (7+ / 0-)

    Both Obama and Clinton say it is too hard to get single payer health care for all. The other 24 top nations on earth have single payer, we are the only idiots in the top 25 with a private health industry sucking our blood.

    Obama said he would like to work towards single payer, and that his plan is the first step in transferring the nation over to a real universal health system. He does not think the jump into single payer is possible right now. I believe this too, even if I wish it were not true. The health industry is just too powerful and flush with cash right now. John Edwards is the real best bet to take them on, but he is out of the race now. Hopefully he will be Vice-president or in a cabinet level position, so he can lead the fight against corporate corruption and greed. The people of america are ready for a new kind of healthcare, and both Obama's and Clinton's plan are an acceptable first step. There is not much difference between them, except for the mandate part. Now everyone wants to make a big deal out of the mandate, because it is the only real difference. I seem to remember Hillary being the first to point to his lack of mandate and claim it would leave people without coverage. Making a big deal out of a little difference just in order to have something to critique. Now Krugman is getting in on that talking point, its very disappointing. Kind of silly when both democrats' plans are so similar, and neither one is really universal healthcare. Lets just hope that one of these two people can get this huge task passed.

    Private Property is the Curse. Those that Buy and Sell Land, and are landlords, have got it either by Oppression, Murder, or Theft

    by pacific ocean park on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:03:28 AM PST

    •  I've always thought that single payer was the (0+ / 0-)

      best option.  It really does seem like compliance is the potential downfall of an early mandate.  Though it seems like mandates are, in theory, a good idea.

    •  In MA (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling

      The way mandated healthcare was sold here was that it was a first step towards Universal Health Care.  It's created quite a mess though and in practice it's been very disruptive to implement. The same people who it was marketed to and who eventually voted on it were the ones who are getting screwed by it now.  

  •  Rational actors (8+ / 0-)

    It is rational for healthy young people to decline to participate in an insurance pool into which they will contribute premiums and from which they can reasonably anticipate withdrawing $0 in benefits.

    It is rational for such persons to set aside what they would have been charged in premiums in a savings account to be expended as necessary (if plan A does not prove absolutely true).

    And if these people are not included in the pool, their excess premiums are also excluded.  This makes the premiums for everyone else higher. But the higher premiums make it rational for the next healthiest group also to opt out. This increases premiums again. And so on.

    A universal coverage plan, including people who have predictable health care expenses in the tens of thousands of dollars annually for the rest of their lives (the 'pre-existing condition' folks), must fail if 'opt-out' is an option.

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:08:35 AM PST

    •  I get that! (0+ / 0-)

      What's your take on the political viability of it?  It seems like the Right is going to attack this like the dickens?

      •  It's going to be a hard sell. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        4jkb4ia, KeepingItBlueKrstna

        But there are millions of people who are suffering under the current system who will approve the plan.

        There are millions of people content with their employment-based group insurance, and they are guaranteed to be untouched (except having to pay the taxes for the subsidies - same as under Obama's plan).

        There are millions - about 15 million, it seems - who will be compelled under this system to accept a sub-optimal situation, basically, a tax in the form of an insurance premium.  Some of these people have relatives who are 'uninsurable' and will be willing to accept this plan as an overall good for their extended families. Some will see the horror of the current system and accept because what we have is just plain ugly. And some will vote for McCain.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:08:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  So by your analysis, in a perfectly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      onanyes

      rational economic world, nobody would buy health insurance. That's your "rational" conclusion.

      But obviously this is not the case. Most people have insurance, and that's without any mandates at all.

      I think the wheels are beginning to come off the Hillary bus.

      Obama, a true inspiration.

      by SleepingWillow on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:19:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually think it makes sense (4+ / 0-)

        I mean if healthy people aren't paying then the costs are higher for the sick.

      •  Pools (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Salo, Jiminy Cricket

        The ultimate rational choice - given full information - is to join a pool where all contribute equally and you are the person most likely to make a withdrawal (enjoy the benefits).

        'Most people' make 'withdrawals' from the their health care plans for themselves and their families so that the group policy is rational for them.  

        But you're right that young single people are foolish to sign on to group plans at their jobs - where available - knowing they are paying for the older workers drawing benefits for heart conditions and cancers and such. Many see this, and don't. They sign up for HSAs and high-deductible low premium 'catastrophic' policies.

        Throw the 'uninsurable' into the pool, the people who start the year with tens of thousands in scheduled health care costs, and charge them an affordable premium, as both plans do, and it is irrational for either you or me to join.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:51:03 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  we don't have one pool though (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      4jkb4ia, mrchumchum

      we have 80 zillion pools.  What's to force the people who are allegedly gaming the system to spread themselves out among the entire spectrum of pools rather than be clumped into a few pools where premiums are especially cheap?

      Only single payer can truly solve this problem.  Also I seriously doubt there are a significant number of people who don't buy health insurance because they just don't want it.  If you have a job, you probably have it.  If you don't have a job that has it, you probably can't afford it.

      www.barackobama.com

      by darboy on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:03:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman does not "hate Obama so much." (24+ / 0-)

    He disagrees with him, strongly, on a number of issues that are important to him.

    I happen to agree with his criticisms of Mr. Obama on social security (particularly Obama's unnecessary rhetoric on the issue) and on health care, on which his plan falls short of universal coverage (unlike the Edwards and Clinton plans).  

    Krugman is a liberal/progressive, and a smart one.  He's on our side.

    Remember when we all were on the same side, when criticism did not automatically amount to "hate," even when it is criticism of Mr. Obama?

    "To be afraid is to behave as if the truth were not true." -- Bayard Rustin

    by Joelarama on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:14:04 AM PST

    •  beatifully stated (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marek, Clem Yeobright

      Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

      by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:26:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah I agree but I think he did intentionally (0+ / 0-)

      side step the question of political viability.  The right is going to make the word "mandate" an unspeakable word.  I mean is there logic in taking an incremental approach?

    •  Krugman said Social Security was in crisis (0+ / 0-)

      for years:

      "Where is the crisis? Just over the horizon, that's where. . . . Responsible adults are supposed to plan more than seven years ahead. Yet if you think even briefly about what the Federal budget will look like in 20 years, you immediately realize that we are drifting inexorably toward crisis; if you think 30 years ahead, you wonder whether the Republic can be saved."

      There's a much larger record than this quote. He's a total hypocrite.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:08:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama needs to reject mandates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, Salo

    ...because of the erstwhile Republican votes such a position gains him.

    Hillary's position is from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party.

    •  and thats the point: his is a Republican plan (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jmknapp, Arcparser, Clem Yeobright

      Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

      by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:26:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  yeah, Dem's Dems like Arnold and Mitt (n/t) (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brendanm98

      "While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free!" -Eugene V. Debs

      by leftneck on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:27:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Mandates traditionally opposed by ASFCME (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftneck

      Until they endorsed Hillary, anyway. Yes, Hillary's plan takes some steps to make mandates more functional; whether these are sufficient is a matter of debate.

      The point is that anyone could construct an argument that mandates are traditionally opposed by liberals, therefore Hillary is adopting a Republican plan. Such an argument would be silly, of course... just as silly as the idea that Obama's plan is aligned with Republican goals.

      •  Mandates (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        xanthe, Clem Yeobright, Salo

        The point is that anyone could construct an argument that mandates are traditionally opposed by liberals...

        On what planet is that true?

        Mandates are the classic argument from the right wing about any attempt to "socialize" medicine. This has been the case since Harry Truman's effort.

        Here is the basic conservative position, courtesy the Cato Institute:

        In practice, however, an individual mandate is likely to be unenforceable because it would involve a costly and complex bureaucratic system of tracking, penalties, and subsidies.

        More important, an individual mandate crosses an important line: accepting the principle that it is the government's responsibility to ensure that every American has health insurance. In doing so, it opens the door to widespread regulation of the health care industry and political interference in personal health care decisions. The result will be a slow but steady spiral downward toward a government-run national health care system.

        Another right-wing organization, the Heartland Institute, has a mission statement "to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems." On mandates: Analysis: State Mandates Drive Up Insurance Costs

        Obama rakes in a lot of votes from conservatives, who interpret his opposition to mandates as a bulwark against "socialized medicine."

  •  The problem, really, is that Obama will not (11+ / 0-)

    put himself on the line for any political principle.

    It is so clear both here with his not univerisal health plan and his demagoguery on social security.

    The best line of the debates was when in SC Hillary said heatedly that she "will go to the mat" for universial health coverage for everyone

    that is is a CORE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLE.

    Obama wants to transform the democratic party - but into what? nothing anything resembling democratic principles.

    he will compronise everything away in his desire for some centrist utopis that is also a wish.

    the Republicans want him to win - did you read the Op-Ed in the Wash Post by the right-winger who said, basically, yea Obama is great, but he needs to move more to the right!!

    and you know what, I think he will. He's made that clear with this health-care policy.

    He will not put himself on the line for anything.

    Hillary: "Wait a minute... wait a minute... Let's have a reality break!"

    by Palladio on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:35:50 AM PST

  •  how is Obama going to lower costs? (6+ / 0-)

    Barack Obama is on record as being committed to universal healthcare within his first term.  He has a different idea about how we should get there: lower costs first, then he'll consider a mandate.

    What is his plan for lowering costs? That would have been a rather useful point to elaborate. Sorry if I missed it.

    I had been leaning toward Obama, but this issue alone makes me think that I'll write in Edwards. At the first Las Vegas debate (6 or 9 months ago?), soon after Edwards had released his plan, Obama joked (yes, said laughingly) that he would be in trouble if he didn't have a plan by the next debate (he didn't). It shocked me that he laughed about such an important matter. If he had said calmly that it was a complicated subject and that he and his advisers wanted to produce a coherent plan, that would have been fine.

    And why are we all talking about this at all? John Edwards led, and Obama and Clinton followed.

    Edwards '08 -6.88/-5.54

    by DrReason on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:47:56 AM PST

  •  Great Diary (0+ / 0-)

    I really don't know what Krugman is trying to accomplish here, but it disappoints me that his attacks on Obama are so ticky-tack, which is unusual for a great progressive writer like him.

    My problem with talking about enforcement of such mandates is that it puts scrutiny on low-income individuals who bear no responsibility for the current healthcare crisis. Let's worry less about policing the uninsured and start worrying about delivering healthcare to the uninsured by policing employers, insurers, and high-income taxpayers. And from there we can build a system that guarantees coverage for every American, regardless of financial means.

    Serenity now, insanity later.

    by chicagovigilante on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:52:54 AM PST

  •  I see two arguments here (6+ / 0-)

    a) Mandates are unnecessary because everyone will sign up for affordable health insurance willingly.

    b) You're not going to force me to sign up!

    If mandates are not necessary to achieve full participation, then there is not argument.

    If you can see yourself not joining the system, then you must agree that there are others who will also 'opt out'. Sorry, but we need you in the system.

    You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

    by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 02:55:56 AM PST

  •  Lowering costs first (0+ / 0-)

    all across the board is where the battle lies. If Clinton isn't attacking that then all she is doing is picking the middle class pockets- or should I say taking pay checks.

    Of course mandates are easy. Write up a law and poof- instant horror show universal health care.

    If I were attacking the problem. I would fund a quasi private company like a Fannie-May. But instead, I would open a health insurance company. Cut average premiums in half or better yet,  2/3rds.

    Get a network of Providers and say "here is the reimbursement schedule". As they scream and yell. I would have a wizard driven software demo. Doctor writes up electronic chart with mostly check marks and a comment section below. Presses Send. It's presented to XYZ insurance company and paid that second. If problems develop later, then they'll hear about it.

    Basically what happens is, the stocks of the for profit providers and the health insurance companies get toxic. They are forced to lower their prices. They start asking the insurance companies for the same deal for payment. Insurance company says no. . Then they turn to XYZ. Using a system of competition, you lower the price of health care and insurance.

    If you go  for single payer, you have to put the other insurers out of business. This is the way to do it. Any short falls initially can be made up with a small tax increase. Then readjustments are made to the providers.

    Oh and if they commit fraud- instant 10 year minimum sentence. They love to screw over Medicare/Medicaid. Make it a heavy jail sentence.

    The electronic aspect will remove a pile of overhead. The instant payment will attract cash flow starved providers. No arguing with clerks. No internal paperwork other than the patient Chart and any procedures which have already been priced.  

    No more patents on live saving drugs either.

    But the lobbyist will descend on Washington like a pack of locusts. So the best thing to do is to sell the plan to small business associations and large corporations whose profits are being decimated by Health Care. Then wedge the two interests so congress can be bribed. The Health Care Industry is big. But the rest of business is a lot bigger.

    Leverage is the key here. Once you have leverage, then you don't have to wait for congress to get honest. As they accept the bribes from the various entities, make sure it's recorded. Then jail em after they pass the law. Kill two birds with one stone.  

    Support Col Hackworth's watchdog group for the troops with money or a sign

    by Dburn on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:29:41 AM PST

    •  Bingo! (0+ / 0-)

      Lowering costs is the key.

      Mandates will not lower cost in a measurable way.  The old canard that if everyone had insurance it would get cheaper is just unrealistic.

      •  Canard? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nasarius, Salo

        If you construct a pool into which each contributes equally and on which each draws according to need, and you tie premiums to expenditures, and you make participation mandatory ... premiums won't be lower than if you allow those for whom this is a patently bad bet to opt out?

        Health care costs are a separate issue. Yes, they should be dealt with, and both candidates have plans to rationalize the health care system. It still has no bearing on the universal coverage proposal.

        Chew ... walk ... chew ... walk. It can be done.

        You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

        by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:56:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Why do Frank Rich, Nick Kristof, etc. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester

    hate Sen. Clinton so much?

  •  Shorter version of this diary. (14+ / 0-)

    Paul Krugman is wrong because he disagrees with Barack Obama.  

    •  Exactly (4+ / 0-)

      Cross Obama, and one of the Obamabots will disavow you for live.

      (I say this as an Edwards supporter who is not undecided ... the Obamabots aren't exactly helping make his case for me.)

    •  Bullshit (0+ / 0-)

      Krugman said for years that Social Security is in crisis. How come it became a right wing frame as soon as Obama agreed? Why did Krugman praise Obama's health plan in June:

      First, the good news. The Obama plan is smart and serious, put together by people who know what they’re doing.

      It also passes one basic test of courage. You can’t be serious about health care without proposing an injection of federal funds to help lower-income families pay for insurance, and that means advocating some kind of tax increase. Well, Mr. Obama is now on record calling for a partial rollback of the Bush tax cuts.

      Also, in the Obama plan, insurance companies won’t be allowed to deny people coverage or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. Again, points for toughness.

      Best of all, the Obama plan contains the same feature that makes the Edwards plan superior to, say, the Schwarzenegger proposal in California: it lets people choose between private plans and buying into a Medicare-type plan offered by the government.

      and then say this about it in November:

      I’d add, however, a further concern: the debate over mandates has reinforced the uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn’t that serious about achieving universal care — that he introduced a plan because he had to, but that every time there’s a hard choice to be made he comes down on the side of doing less.

      You still want to claim Krugman is being objective, and Obama supporters are just being whiners? Krugman's a hypocrite. Plain and simple.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:27:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman is in the tank for the Clintons (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ArcXIX, redglare, cybrestrike, Mojo Jojo

    The fact that Krugman keeps railing against Obama looks so suspicious to me.  I don't think that he has written an article these last few weeks which isn't bashing Obama.  There is other things to talk about but instead he just writes anti-Obama articles.

    It is so obvious that it isn't even funny. People see right through it no matter who you are supporting.

    "Believe in yourself" - Barack Obama

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:45:00 AM PST

  •  What does nyceve think? (0+ / 0-)

    adsf

  •  Cut defense, Pentagon, and shrub tax cuts... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dewley notid

    By 25, 25, and 100%, and healthcare is paid for while paying at least the interest on the defecit.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 03:56:03 AM PST

  •  Let me get this straight (7+ / 0-)

    Obama's plan would cost $4400 per person with only half the people insured and Clinton's plan would cost $2700 per person with everyone insured..

    yet you still think Obama's plan is better.

    Nuts.  Totally frakin' nuts.

    How did I live without him?

    by Pumpkinlove on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:16:17 AM PST

    •  Those numbers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dgb

      are totally bogus.  There is no way to accurately predict or even ball-park predict what will happen for the costs.

      Sen. Clinton's plan has deep flaws.  Krugman's totally politicized the debate.  

      As a matter of fact, at one point Krugman liked Obama's plan though not as much as he liked Edwards.  T.A. Barnhart has the details.

      And note this article on Krugman vs. Krugman.  Tell me he hasn't been "bought out" by the Clinton campaign.

  •  Let’s play hardball! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley

    I don't mind being mandated (joining an "everybody in" pool) to pay a reasonable and fair tax for single-payer (far lower than any commercial premium I could possibly find, like Medicare only better) to receive publicly funded, privately delivered health care.

    That day will come when Senator Obama (if he gets elected) realizes the employer-based commercial insurance system is crumbling and employers are, more and more, unable to afford sky-high commercial premiums to insure their workers. If Obama were smart he would warm people up to the truth of the fact that single payer would not only provide healthcare security and save a lot of money for individuals and families but (framing SP from the right) point out that SP would save businesses enough money that they could compete more vigorously in the free market, thus keep jobs and grow jobs, so that single payer would be not just a health plan but an economic plan at the heart of capitalism.

    Meanwhile, a major flaw in Clinton’s mandated commercial insurance plan (in addition to cramming commercial insurance policies down our throats by force of law under threat of garnishing our wages when the product itself is not yet affordable -- an outrage on its face) is that she will allow the commercial insurance industry to reap an enormous financial windfall by selling high-profit policies to millions and millions of young/well/affluent individuals who will be forced to buy them, yet she will sandbag the public treasury (already deeply in debt) to provide subsidies and tax cuts to pay for commercial premiums for low income people on the margins. She should be insisting that the insurance companies themselves cover the low income people using the lion's share of their largess resulting from the mandated/forced sales to millions and millions of Americans, so that the whole system is virtually self-sustaining without govt subsidies except in extreme cases. Instead, Clinton will let the commercial insurance companies walk away with that huge financial windfall -- and virtually no one is asking her about it.

    I see no indication that Clinton is willing to use the means at hand to force the insurance companies to bend to our will to cut (not just "cap") premiums, co-pays and deductibles; institute strong consumer protections and use the mandated windfall to cover low-income people unless she uses the threat of withholding the mandate -- saying to the insurance companies "You can have this mandate -- this license to sell policies to millions of people who will be forced to buy them -- but only if you meet certain conditions that we have (outlined above). You can still make a lot of money, like a well-regulated public utility which makes enough money for people invest in them all the time."

    If the insurance industry refuses to cooperate in this fashion with the American people, then we’ll pick up our marbles and go toward single payer.  In other words, use single payer as a threat to make the insurance companies bend to our will. Otherwise they have no incentive to change.
    ____________________________________________
    Get on board California's single-payer bill, SB 840!

    •  "Affordability" (0+ / 0-)

      Why is it that the "affordability" question is being answered by Clinton (and to some extent by Obama) with public subsidies to pay for private premiums? This question came up in the debate and Hillary answered that "Premiums will be affordable because we will give people subsidies to buy them." (paraphrase) There's something absurd about this argument.  First of all, it's a great way for insurance companies to suck up millions of dollars from the public treasury while being bypassed on their own ability to create "affordability." Certainly if insurance companies are allowed to sell policies to millions  of Americans who are forced to buy them, by the sheer volume-pricing across 150 million people it would seem they could come up with affordable premiums and cover everyone including low income people (without subsidies) with the money they bring in by forced sales to millions of young, well and affluent people. Isn't this the basic concept of insurance? Yet Hillary is waltzing right past the potential of the insurance companies themselves to cover people at the margins. Why?

      I far prefer single payer but until we get there, if we were to institute a  well-regulated multi-payer system (as I outlined in my comment just above, calling it a "hybrid" which I liken to a public utility), it should pay for itself on a self-sustaining basis with affordable premiums without leaning on the government. What am I not seeing here?

  •  As a Edwards supporter.... (4+ / 0-)

    Who is now supporting Obama, I hope Mr. Krugman continues to hold Barack's feet to the fire on health care and all the econcomic issues.

    •  And that's fine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, wardlow, forestgreen

      But as a former Edwards supporter, I hope that the populace continues to hold all politicians feet to the fire.  The reason is that none of them are addressing the problem with real fixes; they all are providing bandaids.  There are only two fixes:

      1. A highly regulated multi-payer system.
      1. A single payer system.

      When you come down to it, everything else just doesn't cut the mustard.

  •  Mandates are a false issue! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aisling, vbdietz

    I can't believe that we are still fighting over a GOP frame.  Mandates are a GOP idea.  They think it's all about "personal responsibilty".  It's the typical hyper responsibility crap that the GOP has been feeding us for 30 years.

    Let me make it simple.  Every and I every economic study on the subject shows that at best 1% of the uninsured are that way because they made a decision not to buy insurance.  So, what would you accomplish with a mandate?  You run the risk of severely hurting people who can't afford insurance especially if nothing is done to bring down the cost.

    Irrespective of the system, it's all about costs.  That's what we have to keep in mind.  A brilliant economist like Krugman must realize that.  I suspect he's too politicized on this issue; he's definitely a Clinton supporter. He's lost his analytical perspective.

    •  If you are right about the 1% (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Munibond, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

      then the mandates will never be implemented, and everybody's happy.

      But if, after you - as Obama explicitly proposes - require insurance companies to sell a policy to everyone who applies, including people who will pay their $500 or $1000 a month premium and immediately file monthly claims for $5,000 or $10,000, the economics of the situation makes it irrational for many to join the pool supporting these expenses ... what do you do?

      Obama mandates insurance for families with children, so he has to answer the same question Clinton has answered.

      As for costs, that is a separate issue. Both Clinton and Obama have broad proposals for rationalizing the health care system. Those can be accomplished without reference to universal coverage at all.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:40:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is the real issue (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Munibond, Clem Yeobright, rrheard

        Clem,

        I posted this already.  As I see it, the real issue is "who is eligible?".  Both candidates have to face thatr tough question and so far I seen no answer.  

        Warning! Warning!  Warning!  This hurt John Kerry very much in 2004.  He changed positions mid-stream from "those who can't afford to" to "everyone is eligible".  That changed the cost dramatically.

        Personally, I would prefer to call it a day and implement a single payer solution.  I'll settle for a highly regulated multi-payer solution.  But, we must be clear that confrontation with the insurance industry is inevitable for any real change.

        •  No one is proposing a single payer solution. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jiminy Cricket

          So the choice is the Obama plan or the Clinton plan or the McCain plan ... or the status quo.

          You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

          by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:58:34 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is the status quo! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            hester

            Clem,

            Kucinich proposed it.  But of course, he's out.

            Yes, I realize what the choice is and it doesn't excite me.

            Mandates is a GOP frame that they love to see us argue over.  It's not worth all the debate and the candidates are misleading us if they are trying to make it into the key difference.

  •  Please read this! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aisling, vbdietz, rccats13

    There has been little vetting this campaign season about Hillary's bungled 1993-94 health care fiasco. Please read this from a 2003 blog entry from Brad DeLong, a Berkeley economist who worked in the Clinton administration in the early 90's:

    June 07, 2003

    Time to Pound My Head Against the Wall Once Again

    "My two cents' worth--and I think it is the two cents' worth of everybody who worked for the Clinton Administration health care reform effort of 1993-1994--is that Hillary Rodham Clinton needs to be kept very far away from the White House for the rest of her life. Heading up health-care reform was the only major administrative job she has ever tried to do. And she was a complete flop at it. She had neither the grasp of policy substance, the managerial skills, nor the political smarts to do the job she was then given. And she wasn't smart enough to realize that she was in over her head and had to get out of the Health Care Czar role quickly.

    So when senior members of the economic team said that key senators like Daniel Patrick Moynihan would have this-and-that objection, she told them they were disloyal. When junior members of the economic team told her that the Congressional Budget Office would say such-and-such, she told them (wrongly) that her conversations with CBO head Robert Reischauer had already fixed that. When long-time senior hill staffers told her that she was making a dreadful mistake by fighting with rather than reaching out to John Breaux and Jim Cooper, she told them that they did not understand the wave of popular political support the bill would generate. And when substantive objections were raised to the plan by analysts calculating the moral hazard and adverse selection pressures it would put on the nation's health-care system...

    Hillary Rodham Clinton has already flopped as a senior administrative official in the executive branch--the equivalent of an Undersecretary. Perhaps she will make a good senator. But there is no reason to think that she would be anything but an abysmal president."

    Posted by DeLong at June 7, 2003 10:15 PM | TrackBack

  •  hillary has krugman in her camp (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright, TheKiddy

    because he knows her plan is better, that's all.

    i've got a vision... a world free of george w bush. yes!

    by titotitotito on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:43:06 AM PST

    •  Better? It's the same! (0+ / 0-)

      I can't believe the amount of angst over mandates.  It's a non-issue!  It won't help at all.

      I find it amusing how the political system gets us all arguing over nonsense.

      The real issue is, was and always will be costs.  Only Dennis Kucinich addressed that issue in a meaningful way.  The rest of the candidates are bandaiding the status quo.  Might it help a little?  Yeah maybe.  May it hurt a little?  Yeah maybe.  

      All in all, I see nothing exciting unless one of them is willing to say that they will open the Federal Employee insurance pool to everyone.  Then, we have a back-door single payer system.

  •  Krugman and FDR (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    votermom, Munibond, Clem Yeobright, eru

    After reading Krugman's Conscience of a Liberal, I think that the bigger issue at hand is how a Democrat will work for change.  Krugman's example is FDR and FDR pissed a lot of people off with the new deal. There was a fight.  Will the vested interests divest without a fight, but in the interest of national unity and survival?  That is the question at hand.

    Is the animosity towards Hillary personal or is it because, based on her health care plan, the establishment knows that they will be worse off?

    Hey, Bush: What do you say? How many kids did you kill today? (Repeat until he answers.)

    by NepentheRising on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:44:48 AM PST

  •  This diary is crap. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marek, Munibond, jre2k8, chumley

    First of all, two words: Free riders. This is a very old economic concept. As Krugman put it:

    Mr. Obama claims that people will buy insurance if it becomes affordable. Unfortunately, the evidence says otherwise.

    After all, we already have programs that make health insurance free or very cheap to many low-income Americans, without requiring that they sign up. And many of those eligible fail, for whatever reason, to enroll.

    An Obama-type plan would also face the problem of healthy people who decide to take their chances or don’t sign up until they develop medical problems, thereby raising premiums for everyone else. Mr. Obama, contradicting his earlier assertions that affordability is the only bar to coverage, is now talking about penalizing those who delay signing up — but it’s not clear how this would work.

    Second, I don't think that the letter you quote means what you think it does:

    Regardless of our feelings on this issue, what is clear from the evidence is that mandates alone, without strong incentives to comply and harsh punishments for violation, will have little impact on the number of uninsured Americans.1 Indeed, as the Massachusetts experience illustrates, non-compliance with mandates is a large problem, absent harsh sanctions. There is simply no factual basis for the assertion that an individual mandate, by itself, would result in coverage for 15 million more Americans than would robust efforts to make health care more affordable and accessible.

    The inaccurate claim that an individual mandate alone would reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 15 million draws attention away from the challenges we must surmount to make good medical care available to all.

    Krugman doesn't claim that "mandates alone, without strong incentives to comply and harsh punishments for violation" would automatically reduce the ranks of the uninsured by 15 million. The difference between the two plans is 22 million people, according to Krugman, and that's because without mandates, you'd have 22 million people who wouldn't sign up.

    Now, I happen to think Krugman's conclusion is also crap:

    If Mr. Obama gets to the White House and tries to achieve universal coverage, he’ll find that it can’t be done without mandates — but if he tries to institute mandates, the enemies of reform will use his own words against him.

    If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.

    This betrays an ignorance of political realities. If Obama is elected president, guess who is going to be sponsoring the health care legislation in the Senate. A certain junior senator from New York, perhaps?

    I don't see President Obama vetoing Senator Clinton's health care bill just because he said he was against mandates in the campaign. After all, FDR campaigned on balancing the budget.

    Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

    by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 04:55:24 AM PST

    •  Okay where are they are Senator Kennedy's bill (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, wardlow

      A form of single payer is already in the Senate.  A form of single payer has been in the House for years. Where do these candidates stand on that?

      It's ultimately the best fix.  Second best is highly regulated multi-payer system.  

      If we aren't willing to take on the insurance company we will get essentially nothing in return.

      Mandates ... boring!

    •  Except that Mitch McConnell will have his blowup (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

      of Obama's Harry and Louise brochure on the floor every day he fights the plan.

      I think the Rs will cooperate to pass a univesal coverage plan next year, and they will put enough poison pills in it that the subsidies necessary to make it effective will be intolerable.

      Then they will have killed all health care reform for a generation.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:02:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You may be right (3+ / 0-)

        The bottom line is that if we don't have a bold plan and massive grassroots support we can't change the system in a meaningful manner.  Right now, 46% of America supports single payer (even if it means higher taxes!).  We need to get that number up higher and build a mass movement.

        In the meantime, we have these proposals to mull over.

        I still think we are missing the main issue:

        Will the Federal Employee Health system be open to everyone? Or will there be limits?  If so, how is this different from Medicaid, SCHIP, etc...?

        I think nyceve has it right.  We need lots more details.  Both candidates for their own good better think this through or the GOP will smear them.

      •  Senator Clinton will crush him if he does. (0+ / 0-)

        I'm confident Hillary can lead that fight in the senate and win.

        Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

        by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:09:06 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, mandates is a crap issue (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aisling, expatjourno, annan, vbdietz

      You sometimes wonder if the GOP runs the Democratic party.  They have us arguing over their crap personal responsibility frame.

    •  "Free Riders" to what? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arielle, jhecht, cybrestrike

      Not to a Universal Coverage plan, since HRC doesn't tell us what kind of health care gets delivered.

      Her plan starts at an invoice that has to be paid, and all the rest is up in the air, at best.

      Some plan.

      I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

      by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:14:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yup I agree (0+ / 0-)

        Essentially Obama, Clinton and Edwards (yes Edwards) proposed John Kerry's 2004 plan.  I think Richardson went the same route.  The only candidate that was truly unique, as usual, was Kucinich.

        •  Dumbest Purity Test ever: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          maineiac, sviscusi, cybrestrike

          the mariginal differences between HRC and Obama's plan are now the Purity Test.  Why?  Because HRC 08 said so.  And yet, we all know she'd dump it in the GE.  She's already going wobbly by refusing to answer questionsa about how much, garnishment, subsidies.

          I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

          by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:22:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Look it up. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

        If healthy people don't sign up until they get sick, you have the free rider problem.

        Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

        by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:27:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I ask again: Free Riders to What? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybrestrike

          I find it difficult to complain about people being free riders when nobody tells us what the plan is.  Why should anyone be billed for a pig in a poke?

          I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

          by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:50:32 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Oh for fuck's sake. This is too fucking simple. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

            Are you really that fucking stupid?

            If only sick people sign up for a program, there will be more claims relative to the number of enrollees. This raises costs per enrollee. This in turn means that premiums have to be higher to cover those costs. The only way to keep health insurance premiums affordable is to spread the number of claims over the healthy and sick populations.

            Allowing people to sign up after they start getting sick is like allowing people to buy auto insurance after they've had an accident.

            Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

            by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:11:04 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course if it was single-payer we (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cybrestrike

              could ditch the insurance companies but I guess giving more of our money to the government or private companies is the progressive idea.

              If you penalize people who wait until they're sick you can offset that but personally I think Universally Enforced Health Insurance sucks and that it's political suicide coming from a candidate half of the country hates anyway.

              Joe Sixpack who might have sat this one out will definitely get off the couch to  make sure that HRC isn't going to tell him what to do with his money.

            •  Some facts: (0+ / 0-)

              1/3 of uncompensated care comes from people who actually have insurance.

              Uncompensated care accounts for only 2.8% of total health care expenditures.

              (Urban Institute study)

              I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

              by arielle on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:01:03 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  Getting UHC in the UK (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Clem Yeobright

              cost Labour reelection.

              That is whty the Dems are fearful of this.

              I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

              by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:24:40 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  What is UHC? (0+ / 0-)

                Universal health care? That can't be it. Even Margaret Thatcher couldn't get away with eliminating that.

                Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:32:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  For fucks' sake, ANSWER THE QUESTION. (0+ / 0-)

              You know, it might be okay for HRC fans to pretend like nobody needs to know how much we are being billed and for what, and that we can just rely on the insurance companies to figure it out and with government programs TBD, but now that it's clear I'm not eating up your shit with a spoon, answer the question.

              I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

              by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:48:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  I did answer the question (sorry about language). (0+ / 0-)

                I referred you to the definition of "free rider." If you don't understand the term "free rider" in economics at this point, I can't help you.

                If you can't see how only having sick people in the insurance pool would make premiums much more expensive than dividing the total cost of medical care up between the sick and the healthy, I can't help you.

                Without mandates, what would stop someone from waiting until he had heart trouble or cancer or HIV or some other expensive, chronic medical condition before buying health insurance? It's like some being able to wait until the brush fires are approaching their houses before they buy fire insurance while their neighbors pay the premiums all along.

                And if you have to have patient screening to keep people out who have pre-existing medical conditions, a) What happens to their medical bills when they can't pay? Do we just let them die? Take away their houses and put them out on the street? and b) you have all of those extra costs associated with the exams and with setting the premiums at the actuarially appropriate level.

                I now live in Sweden. We have health care "mandates." They are called "taxes." Everyone pays for the system. And it works great. When my daughter was born, the co-pay  was about the same price as a couple of sandwiches. For everything. Anaesthesia, two nights in a private room, the works. And they reimbursed us for the cost of the taxi home. She had pneumonia over Christmas and had to go to the emergency room and stay overnight in the hospital. Total co-pay for everything, X-ray, hospital room, emergency room visit, IVs, blood tests: about 20 bucks. And in both cases, if we couldn't have paid, we would have been taken care of anyway.

                Go see Sicko. In every country Michael Moore goes to (outside the U.S.), there are "mandates," in the form of taxes, for health care. In every one of them. And in every one of those counries, people get better health care for less money. In every one of them. In none of them do people go broke paying their medical bills. None.

                This has nothing to do with HRC. I take a back seat to no one in my loathing for HRC. No one -- except possibly for some trolls -- has written more abusively than I have about her.

                This is just basic economics.

                I'm really sorry about my bad language in my previous comment and am glad you responded because it give me a chance to apologize. I'll try to avoid doing that again. It's really not in keeping with what your candidate and mine is all about.

                Vote for Hillary, dump Howard Dean, bring back McAuliffe, end people-powered politics and restore triangulation.

                by expatjourno on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:30:45 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  RIDING. ON. WHAT. (0+ / 0-)

                Nobody is even trying to tell me what it is that I'm going to be billed for.  It's getting me to sign up to a plan that has as it's only certainty that I'll be forced to pay for it.

                Fuck if I'm going to vote for someone on a FUCKING PIG IN A POKE.

                I want a president who is RIGHT on Day One.

                by Inland on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:59:22 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  Free riders are a straw man (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rrheard

      There's a simple solution to deal with people who don't sign up and can afford it: make them pay out of pocket for their health care. I guarantee you after there are enough stories of people losing their life savings just because they didn't want to sign up, that the behavior will be modified.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:35:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Just remember...when NOTHING gets done (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hester, philgoblue, nasarius, olivert

    on healthcare....that our best hope is out of the race.

    The longer I live, the clearer I perceive how unmatchable a compliment one pays when he says of a man "he has the courage to utter his convictions." Mark Twain

    by Persiflage on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:14:34 AM PST

  •  Thank you for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    I have been making this same argument for months. Producing that letter was a thing of beauty. For more on the Krugman problem see:
    Krugman versus Krugman
    Paul Krugman: Who's the Right Wing Tool

    Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

    by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:15:25 AM PST

  •  Both are proposing insurance company wet dreams (0+ / 0-)

    I am investing in Kaiser Permanente, Cigna, UHC.  I wish some candidates were wanting everyone to buy my services.

    To hell with all these loser ideas.  You all should be requiring single payer, non-profit taking management of health care.  The incentives are always wrong for private enterprise.

    Both are proposing insurance company golden tickets.

    Bob, a US expat in Toronto

  •  can you post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lambertstrether

    some of this diary, edited down obviously, on Krugman's blog?

  •  No one who rights" Why does Krugman hate Obama.." (7+ / 0-)

    has any business writing a diary about the FACTS.

  •  Not one of the signers seem to be economists (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    olivert

    Healthcare reform is also about economics!

    •  Not true (0+ / 0-)

      Henry J. Aaron
      Senior Fellow, Economic Studies
      The Bruce and Virginia MacLaury Chair
      The Brookings Institution

      Howard P. Forman MD, MBA
      Professor of Diagnostic Radiology, Management, and Public Health
      Lecturer, Economics
      Director, Yale MD/MBA Program and Yale MBA for Executives: Leadership In Healthcare
      Yale University

      Thomas G. McGuire
      Professor of Health Economics
      Department of Health Care Policy
      Harvard Medical School

      John C. Coates IV
      John F. Cogan, Jr. Professor of Law and Economics
      Harvard Law School

      Meredith B. Rosenthal, PhD
      Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy
      Department of Health Policy and Management
      Harvard School of Public Health

      Plus, I would suspect that some people who's specialty is Public Health, have economics degrees.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:56:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  are you kidding me? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marek, lambertstrether

    What the hell is Larry Tribe doing on that list? Isn't he a scholar in Constitutional Law? You think he's more trustworthy on this than Paul Krugman?

    •  not just Tribe (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright

      Paul Weiler is on the list.  He's a labor law professor with a specialty in sports law.  He's not a health care expert.

      He was, however, teaching at Harvard Law when Obama was there, as was Tribe.

      I wonder how many of the other names on the letter have no expertise in health care?

      Note, I support Obama now that Edwards is gone; if Krugman was "in the tank" for anyone it was Edwards.  But I find this diary absurd.

  •  Mark Penn of HRC's campaign (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    just plugged the Paul Krugman article on MSNBC.  I think that Krugman and Hillary Clinton are in cahoots together.

    It is so obvious.

    In all, I don't want a plan that is going to garnish my wages if I don't want to get it.  That is what Hillarycare will do.

    I do want a choice.

    "Believe in yourself" - Barack Obama

    by Drdemocrat on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:48:55 AM PST

  •  Universal Health Care (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, wardlow, JayGR, cybrestrike

    I have it up here and it is wonderful - universal, government-sponsored, mostly paid through an employee health tax imposed on business.

    I hope that the US joins the rest of the world in having universal health care, but calling out Senator Obama won't get it done. If HRC is the nominee, and she then manages to eke out a win over McCain (far from certain), half the country will remain up in arms against anything she might try. The right will remain energized and obstructionist. HRC just doesn't have the electability to achieve a mandate which will usher in real change.

    Senator Obama has a chance to win big and a chance therefore to provide coattails in Congressional races and with that a mandate to effect change. I think we should stop putting the cart before the horse. First get a nominee who can suck the life out of the neocons. Then bring in chenges to health care. HRC is not that nominee.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:50:50 AM PST

  •  The right question:Who will make it happen. Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rccats13

    You ask exactly the right question in your poll. Who will really achieve significant health care reform.

    We know the polarizing Clinton failed at it once and failed at it because of her poor political skills. The  right wing will make it a jihad to make her fail again.

    We know the coalition building Obama has succeeded at it once and because of his excellent political skills.  Obama will outmaneuver the right wing and the corporate drug and insurance industries and achieve significant health care reform.

    The two plans are identical, despite Krugman's recent (he once praised Obama's plan) criticism. The key is who has the political skills to get them passed and who will increase the Democratic majority in 2008 to help make it happen.

    Only Obama can deliver both the increase in Democratic majority and the political coalition to achieve health care reform.

    •  It's a non starter (0+ / 0-)

      Obama has a list of demands. That's all he's got in his plan.  The Insurance Industry will block every single proposal he makes. You conceptually miss the point of the mandates.

      I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

      by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:04:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama can/has done it. Clinton will fail again. (0+ / 0-)

        There's no difference in health care plans as Krugman noted previously in praising Obama's proposal.

        The difference is:

        1. Who can beat McCain to build support for their plan, Hillary cannot beat McCain on an issue beginning with Iraq. Obama was right about Iraq and can challenge and beat McCain on Iraq and US national security.
        1. Who, if elected, can build the political coalition. Obama has demonstrated ability to build the coalition necessary to pass health care reform. Clinton has demonstrated she lacks the ability to build political coalition.
  •  Everyone has an agenda to push... (0+ / 0-)

    If you are going to condemn Paul Krugman's opinions and whine about how much he hates Obama, please check your grammar and spell check before you post.  

    I doubt that Krugman has a bug up his ass over Obama.  If anything, I would say from reading his columns, he doesn't care too much for Hillary or Obama.  

    dwakeman.blogspot.com

    by dwakeman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 05:55:05 AM PST

  •  Health "Insurance' NOT about health, or insurance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayGR, rrheard

    it is about private companies fucking us over.

    by the way, for decades this coddled and corrupt 'private' sector has been whining that it is gov't regulation that is the cause of everything wrong

    for all the zillions in management pay and profits,

    WHERE THE FUCK ARE THEIR IDEAS?

    Real, Concrete Ideas that create health care for all and do NOT create obscene paychceks for fucking managers?

    Health 'Insurance' is one of many reasons neither barack nor hillary float my boat

    fiddling with this corrupt system is NOT bold or imaginative or new and is a waste of our time.

    the mandate debate takes things 1 step further into ridiculousness.

    rmm.  

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:00:34 AM PST

  •  Why Jayaprakash Narayan is wrong (11+ / 0-)

    In a nutshell: putting political allegiances ahead of dispassionate analysis.

    You may not like Krugman's criticism, but his criticism is of the platform Obama has laid out, not of the man. And the best answer is not to defend those things in his platform which are really questionable (it's why I was for Edwards till now), but to address the substance of the criticisms, and, if necessary, alter the platform.

    I'm for Obama all the way, but his healthcare scheme is something that seems to deserve the term "scheme", and his supporters blind willingness to attack the Krugmans of this world because they don't like the substance of his remarks does not help him.

    Krugman is wrong, from time to time, but not often. And not on his criticism of Obama on healthcare.

    -8.38, -4.97 "...there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so." Hamlet, Act II, Scene ii.

    by thingamabob on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:05:22 AM PST

  •  First, Krugman is never wrong (13+ / 0-)

    I'm being a bit snarky there, but it is true that he is very rarely wrong.  You may disagree with his conclusions, but nothing in the facts he presents is incorrect.

    Second, no link to the op-ed?  Here it is. People should read it for themselves.

    Third, Krugman is so insistent on truly universal health care because he sees this as THE defining issue of a new progressive dawn.  If you read his book, Conscience of a Liberal, you will understand that he sees the implementation of a successful, comprehensive universal health care program as the cornerstone of all future progressive reform.  

    His main point is that by forgoing mandates altogether, Obama automatically ensures that the coverage will not be universal.  In other words, without mandates we can be certain not to get "universal" health coverage.  We may get "almost-universal" coverage, but it won't be for everyone.  

    But while it’s easy to see how the Clinton plan could end up being eviscerated, it’s hard to see how the hole in the Obama plan can be repaired. Why? Because Mr. Obama’s campaigning on the health care issue has sabotaged his own prospects.

    You see, the Obama campaign has demonized the idea of mandates — most recently in a scare-tactics mailer sent to voters that bears a striking resemblance to the "Harry and Louise" ads run by the insurance lobby in 1993, ads that helped undermine our last chance at getting universal health care.

    If Mr. Obama gets to the White House and tries to achieve universal coverage, he’ll find that it can’t be done without mandates — but if he tries to institute mandates, the enemies of reform will use his own words against him.

    If you combine the economic analysis with these political realities, here’s what I think it says: If Mrs. Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, there is some chance — nobody knows how big — that we’ll get universal health care in the next administration. If Mr. Obama gets the nomination, it just won’t happen.

    (from the op-ed)

    And from his blog:

    Just a note to explain where I’m coming from on all this.

    I believe that universal health care has to be THE central item in a progressive agenda — not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because of its political economy implications. As I explain in Conscience of a Liberal, Republicans went all-out in 1993 to block health reform because they feared that success would reinvigorate the progressive agenda. And they were right.

    Now, if I had my way I’d just go to single-payer, Medicare for All. But that’s politically impossible, at least for now. What had me hopeful was that the Democratic candidates seemed to be offering a more feasible path that could work politically: regulation, subsidies, mandates, plus public-private competition that could eventually lead to single-payer.

    Obama’s plan fell short — but I was initially willing to cut him slack, figuring that it could be improved. But then he began making the weakness of his plan a selling point, and attacking his rivals for getting it right. And in the process he has systematically trashed the prospects for actually achieving universal coverage.

    The Obama plan is still vastly preferable to plans that rely on tax credits and the magic of the marketplace. But from where I sit, a dream is dying — and progressive Obama supporters, caught up in the romance of his candidacy, don’t understand that he’s actually undermining their cause.

    May all beings be free from fear.

    by shakti on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:06:41 AM PST

    •  Mandates won't give universal coverage (0+ / 0-)

      either. Edwards would have enforced mandates through tax filings. Clinton says she may garnish wages. In other words, if you don't have a job or contact with the IRS, these mandates would miss you. That would leave far more people without coverage than the estimated 15 million in Obama's plan. This is why Krugman focuses on the concept of mandates, rather than the raw numbers of people covered by each proposed plan.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:36:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If UHC means additional forced payments (0+ / 0-)

      to the government then UHC isn't worth the paper it's written on.

      Why isn't he forcefully arguing for single-payer and saying that  both the plans stink? That would be the  rational and moral thing for him to do.

      He doesn't think single-payer is politically possible but he somehow things HRC will be able to win of a platform of forced payments to the government or health insurance companies? That doesn't make sense. Single payer paid for from general taxes and paid for by a combination of a reduction in defense spending and letting Bush's tax cuts for the rich expire would be a much easier political sell.

      He might be a good economist (I have no idea) but he seems out of touch with what will sell.

      •  forced payments to the government? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jiminy Cricket

        you mean taxes?  how awful. Look there are services to be provided here, and they can be paid for by the individual with subsidies, or they can be paid for by the government directly, but the government has to collect money (through forced payments) if its going to do it directly.  Either way there would be a mandatory payment imposed on everyone.  

    •  What he left out: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jhecht

      I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

      by arielle on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:46:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This type of dishonesty has become his MO (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        arielle, rccats13, cybrestrike

        Look at this one statement from a column of his from November:

        I’d add, however, a further concern: the debate over mandates has reinforced the uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn’t that serious about achieving universal care — that he introduced a plan because he had to, but that every time there’s a hard choice to be made he comes down on the side of doing less.

        Aside from the fact that it completely contradicts what he wrote about Obama's plan in June, look at what he says:
        "...reinforced the uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn’t that serious about achieving universal care"
        What health reformers? Anyone other than Krugman? If there is he certainly isn't divulging it.
        Than there's this statement:
        "he introduced a plan because he had to..."
        Considering how many times Krugman has quoted Obama's advisors on this plan, you really have to wonder what his motivation is for making such a claim. He knows better, but that doesn't deter him. It's really sad what has happened to Krugman.

        Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

        by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:08:55 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  He's truly making me wonder (0+ / 0-)

          if I shouldn't go back and read some of his economic policy columns with a more jaundiced eye.

          I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

          by arielle on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:13:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Krugman is right on health care. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    odum, otis704, StuartZ, Arcparser, Salo, TheKiddy

    The diarist is full of shit.

    Obama is just wrong.  He tried to split the difference and he fucked up.  Instead of revising his plan, he uses Harry and Louise Redux.  He should just man up and get it right.

    Krugman 1,000,000.  Diarist 0.

    Give up, hacks.  Sometimes your candidate makes mistakes.  He's human.  We'll forgive him.

    This repetitive bullshitting, however, is unforgivable.

    This message has not been approved by the corporate media.

    by jre2k8 on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:06:46 AM PST

  •  Who ever end up being president (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otis704, xysea

    can sign whatever becomes the final version of HR-676.

    Single-Payer or screw it! I want best in class not half assed!

  •  re: "We need to stop giving Hillary Clinton and (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    moira977, StuartZ

    ...Paul Krugman a free pass for attacking fellow progressives."

    But how can the mob stifle dissent that exists outside DailyKos?

    Might the New York Times possess a heretofore overlooked troll-rating system that can be used to "hide" Krugman's dissenting views?

    Let's hope so.

  •  So, Social Security and Medicare (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otis704, Salo, Jiminy Cricket, natalie902

    both of which have "mandates"/automatic enrollment are "mandates are a conservative idea"?

    Look, on the key domestic policy, Hillary is just far better than Obama.  Let it go and talk about something else like ... coal, or more nuclear power plants, or funding the Iraq War ... oh, yeah, may as well stick with mandates.

  •  "Why does he hate Obama so much?" (9+ / 0-)

    You know what ?

    Whatever sense you might have in your diary is
    sidetracked by this moral tag
    at the outset:

    "Why does he hate Obama so much?"

    Edit it, for crying out loud !

    If you have a rational and informed response to Krugman,
    make it.  We're bright enough to follow along,
    even if I have to look up some of the big words.

    As it sits, you have a dubious bit whining backed up by a lot of data.

    Rationally, you weaken your argument by suggesting that HATE
    is a factor in Krugman's argument,
    and that Krugman, indeed, hates Obama.

    Remove the hate based cry for sympathy,
    and you'll have something solid.  But as it rolls
    you're telling us that anybody who disagrees with Obama
    does so because of hate.  

    Besides being a logical error,
    it is a dangerous bit of rhetoric.

    Can you make your case without hate ?

    It's a simple thing to tell the truth always

    by slowheels on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:14:31 AM PST

  •  No real difference between the plans - (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ruth in OR, jhecht, little liberal

    and I stand by that assessment.

    If Clinton will forgo mandates and Barack will consider them, then either of them will do what needs to be done to get the insurance issue under control.

    Isn't that what we should be focusing on?  We're falling victim to the 'divide and conquer' strategy and we haven't even hit Super Tuesday yet!

    Yes, we want our 'chosen one' to get the nomination, but after the last debate (and despite some real hesitancies on Senator Clinton's votes/stance) what became quite clear to me is this:

    Either one will make a brilliant, thoughtful and dedicated President of the United States, and we would be proud to have either one in office.

    And that is all that matters.  The rest is just speculation and smoke and mirrors.

    "Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediments - Shakespeare, Sonnet 116"

    by xysea on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:16:35 AM PST

  •  Tired of these attacks on Krugman (16+ / 0-)

    Frankly I trust Krugman on this issue a lot more than Obama.  I am an Edwards supporter who has decided to vote for Obama for various reasons.  Health care is not one of them.  These diaries certainly are not helpful.  Especially ones with statements like "Why does he hate Obama so much?"

    •  Tired of Krugman's hypocrisy (3+ / 1-)
      Recommended by:
      arielle, brendanm98, cybrestrike
      Hidden by:
      grimc

      Feel like explaining this?
      Krugman said for years that Social Security is in crisis. How come it became a right wing frame as soon as Obama agreed? Why did Krugman praise Obama's health plan in June:

         First, the good news. The Obama plan is smart and serious, put together by people who know what they’re doing.
         It also passes one basic test of courage. You can’t be serious about health care without proposing an injection of federal funds to help lower-income families pay for insurance, and that means advocating some kind of tax increase. Well, Mr. Obama is now on record calling for a partial rollback of the Bush tax cuts.
         Also, in the Obama plan, insurance companies won’t be allowed to deny people coverage or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. Again, points for toughness.
         Best of all, the Obama plan contains the same feature that makes the Edwards plan superior to, say, the Schwarzenegger proposal in California: it lets people choose between private plans and buying into a Medicare-type plan offered by the government.

      and then say this about it in November:    

      I’d add, however, a further concern: the debate over mandates has reinforced the uncomfortable sense among some health reformers that Mr. Obama just isn’t that serious about achieving universal care — that he introduced a plan because he had to, but that every time there’s a hard choice to be made he comes down on the side of doing less.

      You still want to claim Krugman is being objective, and Obama supporters are just being whiners? Krugman's a hypocrite. Plain and simple.

      Hillary Clinton will say anything and change nothing.

      by jhecht on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:42:10 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm with you... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jcitybone

      Amazing how reason goes out the door when we're fans of a certain thing or person.  I'm an Edwards supporter that will, for purely strategic reasons, vote for Obama on Tuesday and, of course, in the general.  But the zealous enthusiasm of the Obama fans is eerily similar to the pissing contests that Mac fans get into with PC fans.  It's just embarrassing and silly.

  •  If it's not single-payer then you HRC fans are (0+ / 0-)

    wasting your energy. No need to pay the government or private insurance (they suck by the way and I'm really surprised people aren't pissed that they're included in the equation) more of your money. They take plenty as it is.

    Let's say it costs $4000.00 per person per year. That's 12 billion a year. (please correct me i'm wrong about the 12 billion).

    Iraq alone costs at least 9 billion a month. The US spends 650 billion a year on defense spending.

    It would seem real easy to get the money for single payer without raising one cent of taxes no?

  •  To answer: Economics is "the dismal science" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otis704

    He's an economist. And an elite northeasterner (disclosure: I have an ivy leauge grad degree from the NE). And he's a wonk. Those things don't favor Obama's "brand".

    Krugman doesn't have hope nor "coalition-building" in his bones. He's an academic in social sciences. He is best when he shoots cynical criticisms from the side. He can eviscerate Bush and this administration -- but I don't think his DNA equips him to know what to do with Obama.

    "We are all atheists about most of the gods that societies have ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further." - Richard Dawkins

    by TX Unmuzzled on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:21:40 AM PST

  •  just a couple of things (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bedobe, natalie902

    First, it's interesting that, while only about 10% of those consistently answering the preference polls here prefer Senator Clinton, a full 26% (as of this writing) think she is more likely to get UHC done than Obama.

    Second, Social Security is a mandate.  It works pretty damn well.  Nothing wrong with the right mandate.

    It's time for a president to to ask Americans to be patriotic about something other than war -- John Edwards

    by ThirstyGator on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:23:06 AM PST

  •  This is a frustrating diary (7+ / 0-)

    In the last two days I have seen Obama-supporting diaries that sacrifice fundamental Democratic principles.  Yesterday it was a diary touting the Paul Volcker endorsement of Obama and today this.  Don't you realize that you are actually spouting Republican talking points?

    The economics of health care and social security are extremely hard to understand.  Paul Krugman has done the public an extraordinary service trying to spell out the technical aspecpts of both issues in language that most voters can understand.  

    Nevertheless, its easy to be seduced by the Republican logic on both accounts.  Obama has.  Clinton hasn't.  One has to wonder whether Obama just does not understand these critical issues for Democrats.

    BTW, very few of the people on your list are economists.  They are almost all doctors and lawyers.  Of the economists, very few are in respected economics departments.

    •  You mean forced compliance is a Democratic ideal? (0+ / 0-)
      •  As a mechanism that gets to... (0+ / 0-)

        as opposed to a mechanism that gets to universal health care, yes.

        After all, force compliance works very well for another program that is at the core of our democratic values: Social Security.

        •  There is no need for mandatory payments (0+ / 0-)

          to crappy insurance companies or the government to get to UHC if you think UHC should mean single-payer. If you think that UH insurance is sufficient then I guess it's ok.

          SS is taken from your check, people are used to it, and they still complain about it. You think additional burdens forced on them by the government or a removal of choice in the matter is going to make them happy?

          It's political suicide even if it's good policy and since it's not single-payer mandates vs. no mandates are a silly argument to me.

          •  It's political (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Clem Yeobright

            It's political suicide to coincide ground, as Obama does on this issue, even before the fight is engaged.

            As I mentioned above, I will vote for Obama, now that Edwards is out.  But that does not mean that Obama is right on this issue -- he has conceded ground and is, therefore, starting the fight from a weaker position.  It is very likely that the Dem candidate will win in Nov, thus the Dem platform will have the air of a mandate -- after 8 years of Bush.  Think of how powerful if would be if the Dem candidate went into the negotiating table on day one and said, the American people have clearly voted for Universal Health care (mandates and all).  Obama won't be able to say that, because he has already conceded one of the most contentious points of the debate.  Additionally, just as conservative forces have done since the beginning of the Social Security program, they'll chip away at it for years to come.  Which means that we'll be stuck with whatever Obama gets for decades to come -- which, again, is a weaker starting point than calling for Universal Health care from the get to.

            Obama is simply wrong to concede so much ground, when the first punch hasn't even landed or been thrown.

            •  HRC won't even get elected with mandates (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jrooth

              as part of her healthcare platform. She'll lose. Where's healthcare at that point?

              •  that's (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Clem Yeobright, jcitybone, dbrown04

                As I mentioned above, I'll be voting for Obama for purely strategic reasons -- one of which is the concern that you allude to here.  However, it sounds to me as if you've conceded the point that Obama is wrong to concede so much ground on the issue of mandates.  

                And, on that score, mandates that lead to universal health care, Hillary is right on.  It is always better to start negotiations from a strong position.  And I'm afraid that Obama, for political convinience, decided to concede that ground early on.

                No matter how much we may like our candidate, we shouldn't loose sight of the larger progressive issues that we're supposedly fighting for.  And let's not forget the individuals that have showed us the way over the past seven years of the Bush administration.

                From day one, Krugman has been there -- holding a flame of progressive reason and hope.  And now, a bunch of over zealous Obama fans want to piss on Krugman, a man whose voice and intellect have a consistent light of hope for progressives.  It is really shameful.

                •  Not really. (0+ / 0-)

                  I don't concede the point that he's wrong. I think he's presenting the only plan that doesn't spell political doom.

                  In negotiations, if you come to the table with a position that is completely unacceptable to the other side, then the negotiations are over before they started.

                  What's shameful to me is that Krugman doesn't realize he's helping to lose an election. He might be an economist but he doesn't seem like a great political strategist.

                  •  Like the diarist, your opinion (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Clem Yeobright, dbrown04

                    your opinion is, sadly, completely wrong.  But, again, being a pragmatist that I am, I will vote for Obama because is potential out weights his negatives.

                    As for Krugman's political acumen, he was right on the recent Social Security fight and Dems were correct when, ultimately, they followed his advice -- which was to fight and to not concede ground on the issue to republicans.  

                    Krugman was right on the politics then, and he -- I believe -- is right on the politics once again.

                    •  Hm. (0+ / 0-)

                      Which time was he right on social security.

                      Maybe Krugman doesn't know enough working class Republicans because he clearly doesn't understand what will motivate people to come out and vote. Being told that HRC is going to force them to give more money to the government or her campaign contributors (and that's exactly what McCain or Romney will say) is just the thing that will bring them out in  droves.

                      As far as negotiations go I handle them regularly (lawyer). I wonder where and when Krugman would have to do the same.

                      •  This is not about HRC (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        dbrown04

                        We agree that HRC will not be the nominee.  This is about whether coming out for the strongest possible position from the get go on Health Care is the best strategy -- and, if Obama were to be elected on a platform that includes health care mandates, that would give him a great boost when he sits across the table from the health insurance industries and their allies.

                        As for your being a lawyer, then you should know better than to start off from a weak position when you enter any negotiation.  Obama will have to give up quite a bit in order to enact any health care plan, and given that he's already given this up, it'll be unlikely that any post-negotiation health care plan that he comes up with will be stronger than what he went in with.

                        Again, over the past seven years Krugman has been right on so many issues, including Social Security.  No disrespect, but I'll take his opinion over yours any day, period.

                        •  I actually think she will be the nominee (0+ / 0-)

                          That's why I'm concerned. I also think that mandates will doom the Dems and health care reform.

                          As far as negotiations go I also know that the other side has a limit and that if you cross it negotiations are over before they have begun.

                          As far as Krugman goes if he's been inconsistent on SS I have to take note of that and weigh his opinion on that matter accordingly.

            •  I almost agree on all points (0+ / 0-)

              but I'm not 100% sure that he is ceding ground.  I've been trying to find out why Edwards wanted to wait until 2012 before imposing mandates.

      •  yes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

        with the Constitution, laws, taxes, Social Security, Medicare, etc.

        Did  you naive people really think universal healthcare would be all sugar and cream?

      •  Read your comment upthread (0+ / 0-)

        Is calling taxes "forced payments to the Government" a Democratic talking point or ideal? No, it's not.

        It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

        by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:47:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Your arguments are specious and false (5+ / 0-)

    Social Security: wages are automatically garnished from day 1 for SS with enforcement. This is a very progressive idea and every conservative government is trying to do away with this safety net.

    Medicaid and Medicare: are two federally mandated plans that garnish wages but none of the young people see a dime of it. In fact if you make a few dollars above minimum wage chances are as of now you will not be eligible for benefits.

    Health Insurance: Once enrolled your wages are garnished by. In fact my wages are garnished for all 3 of the above.

    Barack Obama's plan is not without mandate as he has repeatedly said that people who try to game the system will face stiff punitive measures. That in itself is a mandate. Frankly the scare of a mandate and that of garnishing wages is a conservative scare tactic.
    The letter you put up does not argue against a mandate but argues against an enforceable mandate the kind that Obama is proposing in his plan.

    Indeed, as the Massachusetts experience illustrates, non-compliance with mandates is a large problem, absent harsh sanctions.

    So which brings me back to the final point, I do not think that you have read HRC's full plan and barring that your whole post is a straw man argument beating a dead horse. While the government can do so much to reduce the cost of health insurance the only way the lower economic earners can be insured is by the expansion of medicaid and that will never happen until the people who can afford health care buy it for the greater common good. That will redice the total number of truly uninsured people and hence can lead to an expansion of mediaicd to cover them rather than and expansion where people can freely game the system. Obama's plan promotes free-riders. The choice is between greater common good (a very progressive idea) versus individuality (a very conservative idea). When JFK said "...ask what you can do for your country" he meant for people to take collective responsibility. Your post argues to the contrary. In fact it stands for quasi-progressivism, by word but not by deed.

  •  All this is missing the boat... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amberglow, joanneleon, chumley, rrheard

    ...because the only way to reduce costs and achieve universal coverage is single payer. Both Clinton and Obama have been scared off single payer because the consultants and pundits perceive it as a liberal idea--nonsense. Polls have consistently shown that solid majorities favor a Medicare-like program for the entire US population, even if it would mean higher taxes.

    I'll post a detailed diary later, but here's the bottom line. Universal coverage plans involving private insurance have been tried for at least 30 years and they have never worked. For now, go to Physicians for a National Health Program. It's an excellent site with much useful information, including how to debunk the right-wing myths about Canada's program.

  •  Universal health care (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amberglow, joanneleon, jrooth

    done with private insurance carriers is oxymoronic and plain old moronic but all we can reasonably expect to pass.  The Edwards plan, recognizing this, had a mandate system which would inevitably drive the private carriers out of the business since the government could  provide the same insurance at a lower cost.

    It is the way to go.  

    Where I depart from Paul Krugman on this (and he deserves our highest honors for all he has done to educate people on this issue---and many others) is to give up on Senator Obama on this count alone.  If he is elected with a large enough majority in Congress, he can be "convinced" to alter his position and to explain that his new idea is based on further conversations and thought away from the campaign trail.

    I am voting for him tomorrow, but although I have not seen them, if he is running any Thelma and Louise type commercials he should stop them immmediately.

    "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country"

    by Barth on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:45:34 AM PST

  •  It's easy... (0+ / 0-)

    I used to have great respect for Paul Krugman, but I can't figure out what his agenda is.  Why does he hate Obama so much?

    He's campaigning hard for a job in the Clinton Administration.

    Feingold is my hero.

    by Marc in CA on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:53:20 AM PST

  •  "Debunked" (6+ / 0-)

    I don't think that word means what you think it means...

    Opinions don't debunk anything...

    And despite that fancy letter with those fancy names, that's all that it is... an opinion.

    There are just as many "experts" that will agree that without mandates, the system will not work.

    Common sense tells us so, and that's something that experts are usually pretty light on.

    We have to pave the way to single payer, universal.
    You need 100% participation to make that happen.

    If we need to help folks financially, so be it.

    But everyone has to participate... or it hurts us all. That's part of belonging to a society... shouldering your part of the burden.
    As it is today, we all pay for the uninsured... on the back end, where it is a hell of a lot more expensive... with taxpayer assisted mandates, we get to take care of it up front...
    It's a hell of a lot more efficient that way.

    Obama is wrong here, so are the signators of that letter, and so unfortunately is the diarist.

    "As God is my witness, I thought wingnuts could fly."

    by Niniane on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 06:54:54 AM PST

  •  Krugman can't know the future (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    The country has changed since the 90's. The Republicans lost their mandate.  They are imploding.
    Yes, there will be attacks on Obama, but he is not Bill Clinton or Hillary Clinton.  He doesn't have near the baggage of either.

  •  Why I think this is a bullshit debate. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    little liberal

    Oh, I know I'm going to make people mad saying that alone.  Health care is a HUGE issue.  But any health care plan is better than the NO health care plan that we have now.

    Furthermore, none of the existing plans are going to survive first contact with the enemy.  How ludicrous to think that Obama or Clinton (or Edwards before them) could outline a full and complete agenda for health care, down to the fine-tuning details of things like mandates, and have it survive unchanged at the Congressional debate level when a whole lot of extra cooks from both parties get to weigh in with their own gross-tuning.

    So I'm surprised so much energy is being wasted on the issue of mandates.  

    And to be honest, none of the two (or three, counting the now withdrawn Edwards) had a health care plan worthy of going to the mat for in its existing form.  They all work hard to protect the massive health insurance fraud system, only subsidizing it to make it cheaper and more available.  And yet, as anybody would know if they had seen Sicko, the problem isn't just the availability of insurance, but the unwillingness of insurance companies to PAY when people get sick, through a host of slick maneuvers.

    A good health care plan would start out by cutting out these superfluous and fraudulent middle men.  Medicare works just fine.  Making it available to all would be elegant and cheap and be less prone to this kind of fraud.

    But no, rather than focus on those kinds of gross distinctions, we argue to death here pointless distinctions between the candidates' health plans as if one is so much better than the other it's worth dying for.

    Meanwhile, real issues like the war in Iraq and torture and spying get short shrift for this overblown phony issue.

    It's stupid.  You're fools to be so mislead.  You might as well be focusing on Natalee Holloway.    Real issues are being lost in this mire.

    •  Not exactly. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Salo, Jiminy Cricket

      A plan that fails - and was designed to fail - is worth less than just waiting 4 more years to come back to the one that will succeed.

      Once the Rs can say they tried it and it stunk, it will be a long time before it comes back up again.

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:43:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bravo. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dumbo

      It's a big distraction designed to take the peoples' minds off single-payer. Now instead of talking about do we want single payer or for-profit insurance, we sit here and argue about a mandate for for-profit insurance vs. no mandate for for-profit insurance.  It's ridiculous and we're all being played for fools.  

      Neither one of these candidates are my superhero; it's going to take WE THE PEOPLE to truly reform health care in this country.  It doesn't matter WHAT the hell they're saying right now because they'll say anything to get elected. What matters is what happens next, in November, when a Democrat (hopefully) has the White House and we hold both chambers of Congress.

    •  The mandtaes are bribe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clem Yeobright, Jiminy Cricket

      so that the enemy is disarmed and open to talks.

      They will need a wider pool of customers in order to accept more stringent regulations.

      The mandates are the best way to remove Republican opposition.

      I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

      by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:01:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama followers - how about this one issue (5+ / 0-)

    you ask your candidate to change his position?

    Or would you never do that to He Who Must Never be Doubted or Questioned?

    •  Don't be a single-issue voter. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nautilator, cybrestrike

      http://soundtransit2.com

      by Bensch on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:24:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is a HUGE issue, and indicative (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        joanneleon, Jiminy Cricket

        of many other things. Mandates are politically unpopular - so why even try? Is that the kind of president he's going to be?

        When your platform is "I'm so awesome everyone will like me therefore I'll be able to pass stuff" he's never going to take any risks. He'll never want to shave down his political capital or "go to the mat" for something.

        Sincerely hope I'm wrong.

        •  So the fact he said (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bensch, cybrestrike

          he might consider mandates but not until they had a working program that was affordable is.....wrong?

          I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

          by arielle on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:34:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  How do you drive down costs (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            IndySteve, Clem Yeobright

            if you don't expand the risk pool? We'll wait forever for the premiums to go down.

            •  EXACTLY...this is a critical point that exposes (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              catfish, Clem Yeobright

              the contradiction that Obama

              He says he's willing to implement a mandate if we're able to lower healthcare costs first.  So there's no big difference.

            •  Single payer. (0+ / 0-)

              Obama's and Clinton's systems are not that different, nor will either work. The key here is that harping on it is simply stupid when there are other major differences between the candidates.

              http://soundtransit2.com

              by Bensch on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:14:41 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  That's not going to be the problem. (0+ / 0-)

              By anyone's estimate we are talking about 2-3% of the population.

              So if the premiums are community rated then, yes, there would be a 2-3% impact on the premium costs.

              But, since premiums are calculated on anticipated utilization of health care services, and you're adding 47 million people who would now be using services they otherwise would not be, THAT is what is going to sky rocket the premiums.

              THAT is going to have to be addressed by both candidates.

              I have the distinction of being called a media whore by Courtney Love. -Maynard J. Keenan

              by arielle on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:28:05 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  that my friend is hillari-ous (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bensch, cybrestrike

          Not willing to go to the mat for political purposes?  Not willing to shave down his political capital?  HRC voted to go to Iraq, voted to give President Cheney free rein over starting another war with Iran.  I am sorry, but those votes are far more illustrative.  you are making a decision as to whether you should send people off to die in a war.  She voted for it in a clear attempt to not appear weak.  It now makes her look even weaker.  you can ramble on about what you think will happen with health care given the differences between the two candidates, but this is far more indicative of someone afraid to go to the mat for political purposes.

           

        •  If it's so divisive... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          cybrestrike

          why is it that you have people who won't vote for Clinton, but nobody coming out and saying they won't vote for Obama? Get your head on straight!

          http://soundtransit2.com

          by Bensch on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:12:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  While I agree with you on your first point, (0+ / 0-)

          that those who support Obama need to challenge him to lay out a better program (and ditto for Clinton supporters), this post is silly and snide. I respect your concern, but not your tone.

          Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

          by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:45:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Oh, come on. (0+ / 0-)

        First, as catfish said, if there's any issue to be a single-issue voter about, this is probably it. Second, single-issue voting was not the point. Catfish's post was a challenge to those of us who support Obama to challenge him, the candidate, to come up with a better program. I absolutely agree with catfish that we must. It would take only a hair of improvement to equal or better Hillary's program, but it's going to take a massive change to get something actually reasonable, effective, and right. We have to push him on this (and HRC's supporters had better be pushing her, too), not roll over and say My Candidate, Right Or Wrong.

        Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

        by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:41:56 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  How about since we want health care reform, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      we don't?

      Up-front mandates are not helpful towards the immediate goal of making insurance more affordable. They are politically unpopular (unless you work for the insurance companies) and economically they put the burden on young workers in what amounts to a regressive tax.

      Let's get premiums down first and provide affordable insurance for everyone who wants it. Then we can gradually take the steps that will lead to single payer universal health care.

      •  They expand the risk pool (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Clem Yeobright, Jiminy Cricket

        meanwhile we have to pay for the freeloaders who go without and then go to the emergency room.
        Krugman says:

        And both plans seek to make insurance affordable to lower-income Americans. The Clinton plan is, however, more explicit about affordability, promising to limit insurance costs as a percentage of family income. And it also seems to include more funds for subsidies.

        As with any economic analysis, Mr. Gruber’s results are only as good as his model. But they’re consistent with the results of other analyses, such as a 2003 study, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, that compared health reform plans and found that mandates made a big difference both to success in covering the uninsured and to cost-effectiveness.

        And that’s why many health care experts like Mr. Gruber strongly support mandates.

    •  You bet. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      catfish

      We will. I'm only recently in the Obama camp. His healthcare policy bothers me, even though the Clinton-supporters who keep bringing it up mostly ignore the fact that HRC's policy is, if anything, only a microscopic step better, when considered in the context of what is actually needed. I have not seen a reasonable plan from any candidate, though I hear Kucinich came close. Of course we want to twist Obama's arm and get something real. Will you work to get Hillary to do something real, too?

      Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

      by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:37:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Historically conservative" is a meaningless term (0+ / 0-)
    1. Historically, individual mandates are a conservative idea.

    "Historically conservative" or "historically liberal" are totally meaningless terms, as these terms have never been absolute.  This point wouldn't persuade anyone with any historical knowledge to vote for or against anyone.

    Historically speaking, Prohibition was the finest of liberal/progressive policies, supported by abolitionists and suffragettes for the protection of women and children and the improvement of the conditions of the working class.

    Historically speaking, Protestant churches up until the 1970s mostly supported abortion rights and birth control.  It was the RCC that was against it, and incidentally, RCs were considered rock-solid Democrats, i.e. liberals.

    In the 1980s, conservatives were all about local control of schools, and it was liberals who wanted a national curriculum supported by testing.  

    So, no argument based on historical purity should have any influence on anyone.

    BTW, historically speaking, Krugman's been right about just about everything! ;-)

  •  I think Obama's ad against Hillary (6+ / 0-)

    says all you need to know about his committment to universal health care.  It's not there.

    There are lots of things to like about Barack.  This isn't one of them.

    Thank god I already voted, because, by the day, I am less and less impressed with either one.  Too bad people are too stupid to realize that Edwards or even Biden or Dodd would have been better presidents and had a better chance to win.

  •  Krugman (0+ / 0-)

    has been mistaken before, he still supports free trade and globalization no matter what damage it does to the US economy.... don't question Krugman and he has a Phd in economics you silly consumer units   snark

    Peace is a good thing. War is the ultimate political failure.

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:17:07 AM PST

    •  Krugman supports managed trade and globalization (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barth

      with enforceable labor, human rights and environmental protections. What would you do? Go back to the middle ages? Globalization is a reality. The challenge is how to manage it.

      •  problem is (0+ / 0-)

        it doesn't WANT to be managed, yes it is a reality and just watch the globalists starting screaming 'protectionism, protectionism' the instant someone wants to 'manage' it.
        I don't remember the 50's and 60's being the middle ages in terms of America's industrial production capability.  Now we're a consumer society and not nearly as much producer society, the measure of that is our trade deficit.

        I am not interested in making the workers in these 3rd world countries suffer either.  Its about wages not trade and we are all losing.

        Peace is a good thing. War is the ultimate political failure.

        by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Wed Feb 06, 2008 at 08:53:14 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  OTOH (0+ / 0-)

      In Obama's book he sings the praises of Globalization.

      I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

      by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:59:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I support mandates, and I'm voting Obama tomorrow (4+ / 0-)

    For me, like I think for many Democrats, universal healthcare is the soft underbelly of Obama's argument for why he should be president. He should understand that there are people who will go uninsured in a system without mandates not only because they make the conscious choice they are better off uninsured and then execute that choice competently, but because they may not know insurance is available or even in some cases understand the principle of insurance. Quite simply, there are people in this country today who qualify for subsidized insurance in the state systems who don't buy into it, and I think it's a fallacy to assume that all these people fail to do so because they have made the decision that it is economically feasible for them to do so. Some may say there is class paternalism in what I'm saying, but I come from the rural south, in a place where people routinely didn't apply for federal student aid even though they might qualify for grants, because they assume the aid is not for people like them. Economically, of course it makes no sense that this is so, but it shouldn't be news for people living in the real world that human beings are not always rational decision-makers.

    Moreover, the diarists arguments are belied by two qualifications he makes, that he himself supports mandates as a system, and that Obama supports universal health care because he will consider mandates if cost reduction is not effective. Sorry, as a matter of pure logic that means Obama is not supportive of universal health care under current circumstances.

    Now, all this said, I intend to vote Obama tomorrow. This is fundamentally because in the end I think Obama is the candidate most likely to end the Iraq occupation rather than Hillary, and that that policy difference is, yes, more important: the $200 billion a year we spend on Iraq can do a lot of good in addition to universal health care (and we should consider the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi lives and thousands of American lives saved as a bonus). But there is even a more basic consideration: Hillary Clinton has, by virtue of her racially exploitive effort to undermine Obama, permanently disqualified herself from the presidency and from any claim to leadership of a progressive moment or a party of the left.

    The presidency is in the end not only about substantive policy but moral leadership. If Obama gets a B+ to her A- on the first, then he has an A to her F on the second. As an economist, Paul Krugman can be excused for not seeing things this way. But this nonetheless is how it looks from my backyard.

    •  I think "F" is too low a grade for Hillary's (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      andydoubtless, rccats13

      moral leadership. If everybody had standards like yours the country would be run by saints. Maybe we'd be better off. That said I do agree that Karl Rove should not be the model for campaign strategist.

      Pop-gun president lying with impunity, soundbyte policies and photo opportunities

      by Dave the Wave on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:54:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fair enough. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rccats13

        And I also regretted saying I would give Obama an A for moral leadership, when there have been times when he's been disappointing, too (specifically, I'm thinking about the Donnie McClurkin affair). But even a B+ for Obama and a C- for Hillary still expresses how I see the moral leadership difference as outweighing the substantive policy one.

    •  fair enough (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      andydoubtless, cybrestrike

      Krugman somehow arrived at a reasonable conclusion that good healthcare reform is do or die for Democrats and progressives.

      In 1992, health care issues drawn many people to Democrats (besides the economy).

      By 1994, no action on healthcare and GOP grabbed popularity and attention.
      This is the conclusion in his latest book, Conscience of a Liberal, and it is, again, reasonable.  

      On the other hand, he decided to be "a single issue commentator".  But we have a lot of different issues, and each of us would have a different perfect program in mind (shade in several ways solutions for 10 issues and you have a million different programs).

  •  definitely not trolling... (0+ / 0-)

    Totally pissed off that my mom is geting this shit the day before the primary.  

  •  This diary is a hit, pure and simple. (3+ / 0-)

    This diary is a hit, pure and simple.

    Paul Krugman and Hillary Clinton (as if they are one and the same) are not attacking progressives by pointing out the glaring flaw in Obama's plan.

    Was John Edwards attacking progressives, too?

    This kind of dishonesty would be all too laughable if it weren't so commonplace among the cult of Obama.

    Why don't the Obama faithful get it?

    Obama's supporters are screwing up their chance at the undecided vote.

  •  I live in Massachusetts, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    little liberal, cybrestrike

    and I support universal coverage. But I think an individual mandate grafted onto the current, failed private-corporate system is a really bad idea. Here in Mass, we're the only place where we get to see that system in action. And it isn't pretty.

    According to a story in yesterday's Boston Globe:

    The subsidized insurance program at the heart of the state's healthcare initiative is expected to roughly double in size and expense over the next three years - an unexpected level of growth that could cost state taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars or force the state to scale back its ambitions.

    State projections obtained by the Globe show the program reaching 342,000 people and $1.35 billion in annual expenses by June 2011. Those figures would far outstrip the original plans for the Commonwealth Care program, largely because state officials underestimated the number of uninsured residents.

    The fundamental problem here is that the individual mandate approach doesn't deal with the underlying dysfunction of a health care system run by corporations and insurance companies. As the Boston Globe notes:

    In a statement, however, the governor's spokesman, Joseph Landolfi, said, "It is clear that paying for healthcare reform will pose a much greater fiscal challenge than was anticipated by the previous administration. We are committed to making health reform a success by aggressively pursuing cost savings and efficiencies in the healthcare system, as well as working with legislative leaders to review options for additional state revenues so that we can continue to afford this important initiative."

    Why do we insist on flogging this corporate system (which, remember, was implemented in Massachusetts by Republican Mitt Romney)? Because conventional wisdom says its not "politically realistic" to do what is really needed. Hillary Clinton basically admitted this in the last debate. If she is the voice of experience and change, why isn't she championing single-payer universal health care? At least Obama isn't claiming that his system is a total solution. He seems to realize that it is just a step toward what is really needed.

    I have great respect for Paul Krugman, but he is dead wrong on this. Robert Kuttner has it right Boston Globe op-ed:

    This idea of an individual mandate absent comprehensive reform - how to say this politely? - is nuts. It makes a social failure the problem of the individual. As Angell points out, "It gives the idea of government-sponsored universal coverage a bad name."

    When Lyndon Johnson devised Medicare in 1965, he didn't order senior citizens to go out and buy private insurance, adequate and affordable or not, or be fined. Medicare covered everyone, bypassing the notoriously inefficient private insurance industry.

    Barack Obama has been criticized by some for not including an individual mandate in his health plan. But Obama is correct. The individual should not be punished for government's failure to do reform right. Universal social insurance signals government help. A mandate signals government coercion.

  •  Constructive Criticism - Don't Take It Personally (5+ / 0-)
    I think Krugman's critique is a legitimate concern. The problem I have is: When President Obama is presented with Senator Clinton's Health Care Plan to sign into law will he? Of course he will! Everybody panties are all wadded up over policy difference when the real concern is who can we get elected with a large enough majority to push through real Health Care Reform.
    I'm with Obama because of that "Vision Thing". Once elected we can worry about the legislative sausage making.
    •  That's what I thought about Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

      I figured she'd come around after she was elected Speaker of the House.  I figured she'd never hold to her "impeachment is off the table" thing.  But she was stubborn as hell.  How stubborn is Obama?  If he is truly willing to listen to the people, and listen to the experts, he'd be changing his position right now, or at least he'd be showing signs of movement.  He has to show us that he means what he says, IMHO.  This is a key issue in this election.

      "The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." --Theo Jansen

      by joanneleon on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:48:48 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's All Different When You Actually In Charge (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cybrestrike
        Pelosi's problem is she has such small diverse majority.  We can solve Pelosi's problems by electing more Democrats. I empathize with Speaker Pelosi's predicament from my limited experience has a local County Chair. She is in charge of all the Congressional Democrats not just the Progressive Caucus.

        As far as Health Care is concerned I believe both Clinton's and Obama's Health Care Plans are a waste of time. If I were in charge(king for a day) I would implement a Regional Single Payer System modeled after those evil French bastards.

    •  I imagine he would (0+ / 0-)

      He's said several times that he's open to a mandate if that's what it takes to pass a plan.  I still agree that it's a bad idea; and I would be hesitant to give such a sweeping approval to a plan that requires poor people to pay more money... but that's what Obama has said.

      "... politics has been divided between two types of people: those who want more people to vote, and those who want fewer people to vote." - Sen. Kerry

      by cdsmith on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:16:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The answers to the questions asked in the diary (2+ / 0-)

    have already been given.

    I think it's disingenuous not to point out the heart of Krugman's argument.

    That a gov't system w/o mandates will collapse simply because healthy people will not buy in. The whole point is universal health is for healthy people to pay for the needs of sick people in a collective.

    Furthermore, you ask how does this lead us to single-payer? That too has been addressed by Krugman. Businesses will offer incentives to workers to opt out of corporate run health care (higher salaries for instance) but if the worker can simply pocket the money without buying in, then you have a problem.

    And before someone theorizes that moderate income workers will choose to insure, have a look at the Pre-Tax Medical Accounts. They are pretty popular among certain people with means.

    By the way, how does Obama intend to lower costs?

    Look at these people! They suck each other! They eat each other's saliva and dirt! -- Tsonga people of southern Africa on Europeans kissing.

    by upstate NY on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:44:32 AM PST

  •  The Clinton campaign thanks you (5+ / 0-)

    for helping to drive away undecided and leaning base Democrats from Obama by fueling two of our most deeply felt objections to his candidacy (by the way, I'm still an Edwards supporter turned Obama leaner, barely):

    1. his inferiority on health care policy to Clinton, including his willingness to use right-wing style attacks on subsidy-supported mandates to achieve universality.
    1. his campaign's efforts to tear down legitimate progressive critiques of his policy proposals, such as Krugman's, with an all-out war mentality that is usually ascribed to Clinton's campaign.

    Look, I am a supporter of single-payer, so I always remained critical of Edwards's plan, even as I supported him, for not going far enough. But the ardor of so many Obama supporters for defending every last policy position and utterance of his...I really don't think it is going to convince anyone who is not already part of the Obama fan club.

    •  That's not the point. (0+ / 0-)

      I could care less anymore which Edwards supporters vote Clinton. The truth is that individual mandates are regressive, and they disproportionately hurt the poor. That's what I care about.

      The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman, using right wing talking points.

      by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:42:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sorry, I misunderstood your objective (0+ / 0-)

        When I read your diary's second sentence, which seemed highly loaded and hyberbolic to me:

        Why does he hate Obama so much?

        I assumed that you were a strong partisan for Obama seeking to influence the choices of primary voters. After all, it is the day before Super Tuesday.

        However, from your reply, it appears that you feel more strongly about your position on this issue than getting base Democratic voters to support Obama. So, in that case, I'm sorry about misinterpreting your intent with this diary. So many Obama supporters have been bashing Krugman (without much merit, in my view) for what seem to be campaign messaging reasons that I automatically assumed you were doing it too.

        So, to debate the issue: As I understand, whether an individual mandate is regressive would depend on how much the government subsidizes them, would it not? I understand that a mandate without subsidies would be regressive, but why would a heavily subsidized mandate be a problem? And you would you not also have to take into account not just the cost of the mandated insurance itself but also the cost of the prior insurance and out-of-pocket health care costs that it replaces? All things considered, an Edwards-style plan (or even the slightly weaker Clinton plan) would seem more progressive--in both the narrow economic sense and in the wider political sense--than Obama's.

        The larger issue, apart from policy specifics, is simply the toxic effect that Obama's anti-mandate ads on this issue are having on this debate. As with his prior hyping of the social security crisis, it is angering base Democratic voters. And, in the case of health insurance, reinforcing and validating this rhetoric will make it harder to convince young, healthy people to do their share to support a truly universal health care system. THAT is what what will divide the constituency in favor of health care reform, not Paul Krugman.

        •  Oh, I didn't write the diary, but (0+ / 0-)

          I've been commenting.

          The mandates and subsidies combination appears to work in theory, but I'm talking about what actually happened in Mass. What's going on there is that people with lower income just can't afford health care - so the government just exempts them from the mandate. That's not universal health care. Now, because of this effect, Mass's numbers were completely thrown off, and instead of costing 280/month for standard health care, it costs 380. Both numbers are low in the U.S., but remember, that's like a forty percent increase.

          The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman, using right wing talking points.

          by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:58:22 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm going to say this till I'm blue in the face. (0+ / 0-)

      I really feel like supporters of Hillary are looking a gift horse in the mouth.  He seems right of Hillary Clinton but most commentators agree that he's actually to the left.  He's calculating, just like Hillary.  But he's calculating better!!  He's willing to say some things that piss off the far Left to capture the middle.  But he's squarely on the Left!!!!  He's NOT A REPUBLICAN!!!!!

  •  I heard Obama say (3+ / 0-)

    that he wants to surround himself with experts who will argue with his positions, tell him when he's wrong, and such.  But he's being told by countless experts that his healthcare plan is off the mark, and it won't work.

    So where is the willingness to change his stance based on the help of experts?  That is what I want to see from Obama.  I want to see him change his mind.  Yes, I want to see him "flip-flop" because despite the ridiculous campaign against Kerry on changing one's position, the fact of the matter is that it's often the best thing to do, and it's a sign of strength, not weakness.

    Change your position on this one, Obama.  We've heard the talk, now walk the walk on this issue.

    "The walls between art and engineering exist only in our minds." --Theo Jansen

    by joanneleon on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:45:53 AM PST

  •  Not only is Krugman right (5+ / 0-)

    Obama doesn't even have a health care plan, merely a platform.  Based upon what he said in the last debate, his entire "plan" is a farce.

    If you refuse to vote for OUR PARTY'S nominee in November, the blood of a thousand back-alley abortions will be on your hands.

    by dhonig on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 07:53:46 AM PST

  •  This is the essential contradiction and why (4+ / 0-)

    mandates (I prefer the term guarantees) are critically important.

    lower costs first, then he'll consider a mandate.  

    You need mandates or guarantees to lower overall costs of insurance.

    Without mandates, it is clear there will be two types of people who won't sign up. Those who are "risk-takers" and who bet on not getting sick or needing much health care, and those who are well (probably young) who figure they don't really need it.

    The problem is this will eliminate the risk-spreading benefits of insurance because you lose a large number of low risk folks to help offset costs to those who are higher risk.

    The second problem is when a certain number of those who get sick will result in shifting the cost to those enrolled in insurance programs. Both will cause costs of insurance and health care to escalate, driving even more out of the system.

    As far as I can tell, Obama just avoids this obvious problem. Why?

    •  I agree...and disagree... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      Yes, mandates will lower costs, but they both have aggressive cost savings measures in their plans, too.  Mandates are just one part of lowering costs.  If Mrs. Clinton imposes a mandate and costs don't come down substantially then I think that could be a problem, too.

      Can you tell me why Edwards didn't want to impose mandates until 2012?  I am really asking, not a rhetorical question.

      •  The other cost containment measures are good (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jiminy Cricket, mrchumchum

        but this lack of mandates will drive costs. Those uninsured now who are going to incur high costs will sign up while the "healthier" will take risks and not. Premiums are based upon spreading out the risks. This overwhelms the other measures.

        •  but the cost savings are coming (0+ / 0-)

          because private insurers are pooling.  So it will very much depend on which candidate is more likely to keep private insurers out of writing the legislation, or else the we will have new budget crisis on our hands.

        •  and the other cost containment measures (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jiminy Cricket

          will be methodically blocked.

          He just has a set of virtuous demands.   That's not how it worked when Nye Bevan designed the NHS.

          I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

          by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:15:24 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Mandates are private insurance pooling (0+ / 0-)

            Why do you think Hillary Clinton and the Congress are going to be able to beat back the insurance industry from getting their hands on this juicy windfall.

            I just realized that this is why Obama doesn't have them.

            •  Actually, Obama does have them. (0+ / 0-)

              He mandates parents to insure their children. Kinda messed up that theory, don't it?

              It's like Apple and Microsoft. Without Apple, Microsoft wouldn't have anything to copy. Edwards is the idea factory. -demwords

              by Jiminy Cricket on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 12:58:20 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  Obama is not shy about saying (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Salo, Jiminy Cricket

      any health insurance company must sell a policy at a reasonable cost to anyone who applies, regardless of health.

      That means that into your pool and mine will be introduced people who will pay the $600 or $800 a month and immediately start takingout $5000 or $10000 a month. Why would you or I stay in that pool, if we have other options?

      You kids behave or I'm turning this universe around RIGHT NOW! - god

      by Clem Yeobright on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:13:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You can argue about mandates (0+ / 0-)

      But you prefer the term "guarantees"?  Is that so that people can be deceived as to what you're talking about?  What we need is certainly not more Orwellian language injected into the discussion.

      The problem you mention is not so obvious as it appears to you.  In a current world without mandates, the great bulk of the uninsured are people who can't afford health insurance, or who are not even offered policies because of their medical history.  The bulk of the rest are young adults, who Obama proposes be eligible to be included on their parents' plans up through the age of 25.

      Suppose we do that.  Then first of all, the remaining uninsured are an extremely small group of people.  There is simply not a huge movement of Americans clammering to not have access to health care.  It doesn't exists, and there's no reason to presume it will start existing when costs go down for lower income families.  But second of all, we just don't know much about these people.  Maybe they have good reasons for their decisions; maybe they are people who can't afford it, but that fact doesn't appear in our administrative criteria for subsidies.  It is the height of hubris to pretend we understand the conditions of these people when we don't even know who they are.  Instead of screwing up people's livelihoods because we don't understand their lives, let's identify them and find out what the problem is.

      "... politics has been divided between two types of people: those who want more people to vote, and those who want fewer people to vote." - Sen. Kerry

      by cdsmith on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:13:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Barack Obama is more likely to ANYTHING done... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rccats13, mrchumchum

    That's not a comment on her abilities, simply that she is a polarizing figure and the right will mobilize around their opposition to her. Right now is a historic time when the republican coalition is fracturing before our eyes. Why would we send them a unifying force as our nominee?

    I'll say this now, If Hillary is our nominee I will campaign and vote for her. She will also probably win the General election but we will lose big in the 2010 midterms and she will be defeated in 2012. Her nomination will squander an opportunity for America.

  •  Hillary's stand and record on universal (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bostreba, Clem Yeobright

    healtcare is by far the best.  I haven't been impressed by Obama in this area.

  •  a chance for good outcome (0+ / 0-)

    I see it that way:

    Obama wins, he has a mandate to take us out of Iraq fast.

    Clinton wins, she has a mandate to make a super duper healthcare reform.

    Without the current hullabaloo, her win could be a vindication of DLC, truly a nightmare scenario.

    Hopefully, with Democratic majorities improved in both houses, we will accomplish both, and more.  But whoever will be our candidate, he/she must offer a resolute contrast to McCain.  Obviously, Clinton would be well positioned on healthcare where GOP is laughably lame.

  •  This is a non-statement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Clem Yeobright

    They're basically saying that passing universal health insurance will be difficult and will need someone experienced to do it...I guess that's a vote for Clinton.  When has Obama ever rolled up his sleeves to pass a difficult piece of legislation

  •  From the same folks that bring you Mr. Kristol ! (0+ / 0-)

    NYT is just completing the slide that began with "Times Select."  

    When you were once the newspaper of record and over the past few years have become a second choice for toilet paper, it must cloud the judgment just a little. Jealousy and white-boy fears.

    Simple, Krugman has gone from being "the shit" to being "a shit."

  •  I assume these people trashed Edwards as well (0+ / 0-)
  •  I think this is a list of people who want a (0+ / 0-)

    position in an Obama administration.

  •  PK doesn't think BO is a progressive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arcparser, Salo, Jiminy Cricket

    He wouldn't have mounted this kitchen-sink attack otherwise.

    I don't think BO is a progressive either.

    There's plenty of handwriting on the wall for those who care to read it.

    •  I found that poll Ironic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jiminy Cricket

      Obama isn't even going to attempt UHC, yet 72% reckon he's going to do something he hasn't in fact proposed.

      Shit he hasn't even promised to get all the troops out of Iraq. He argued with Edwards about there being no difference between having a forcwe in Kuwait and the deserts of Iraq.

      lol. I've just witnessed an hysterical delusion sweep through this site.

      I will make them have it. I will stuff their mouths with Gold!--Aneurin Bevan (on the NHS)

      by Salo on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:56:50 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Starting to smell something fishy. (0+ / 0-)

    If the principle of mandates is that pooling risk lowers costs, that makes sense.  But those pools are in the hands of private insurers.  The bigger question is who is more likely to resist the private insurance companies who will rig the legislation.

  •  it won't be a walk in the park for either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    I am not about the vote based on whose healthcare plan is the slightest bit better.  It's going to be damned difficult for anyone to get this going.  Especially if they have received a lot of money from the same industry they are going to piss off.

    I'm voting for the dem that is most electable, Barack Obama.

    Everyone in corporate America is terrified of John Edwards & Dennis Kucinich ..... Thom Hartmann

    by lisastar on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 08:52:07 AM PST

  •  DEAN BAKER JUST ISSUED A CRITICISM (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    of Krugman in his weekly, Beat the Press Column from CEPR

    I'm putting the whole thing in here:

    February 4, 2008

    Krugman Wrong on Obama and Mandates

    It's not often that I take issue with Paul Krugman's economics (at least not recently), but he does misrepresent the issues in going after Obama on health insurance mandates.

    The simple story is that any effort to establish national health insurance will require some anti-free loader mechanism to prevent gaming. The logic is straightforward. Everyone agrees that we want to get rid of the current practice under which insurers are allowed to charge fees based on people's health. Under this system, people with serious illnesses either must pay exorbitant fees or are unable to get insurance altogether. (Insurance companies lose money if they insure people with high bills.)

    Under a reformed system, we will require a standard fee under which everyone pays the same rate regardless of their health history. However, this creates a situation in which it doesn't make sense for healthy people to pay for insurance. Why not just deal with minor health related costs out of pocket? You can wait until you get sick and then buy into the system and pay the standard rate.

    That works for healthy people, but it would destroy the system because the only people buying insurance would be those with relatively high bills. This means that insurance would be very expensive, which of course encourages more people to play the "wait till I'm sick strategy." The end result is that the system collapses, because only the very sick would ever find it worthwhile to buy insurance.

    One way around this problem is to mandate that everyone buy insurance. Senator Clinton has proposed a mandate as an explicit part of her plan. Senator Obama has attacked Clinton for this mandate (sometimes unfairly). By contrast, he has suggested that we can get near universal enrollment through other mechanisms. Specifically, he has suggested that we can have a system of default enrollment, whereby people are signed up for a plan at their workplace.

    People would then have the option to say that they do not want insurance, so they are not being forced to buy it. However, they will then face a late enrollment penalty if they try to play the "healthy person" game. When they do opt to join the system, at some future point, they will have to pay 50 percent more for their insurance, or some comparable penalty for trying to game the system.

    A system of default enrollment will ensure that people do not remain uninsured due to inertia. A system of late enrollment penalties will ensure that people don't try to game the system.

    Is the Obama mix as good at reaching universal or near universal insurance as the Clinton mandate? The reality is we don't know. It will depend on many factors, most importantly the sanctions that are imposed under both systems (i.e. the penalty for not getting insurance with the mandate, and the late enrollment penalty in the Obama system). Krugman is wrong to say that a mandate is necessary. We can get to the same place with Obama's approach; it really depends on the details.

    --Dean Baker
    Posted at 05:00 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

    This is very important. I really respect both of these economists, so there are 2 sides of this coin from a progressive perspective.

  •  Academic vs. Columnist dichotomy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    Paul, for good reason, is a well-regarded academic in addition to being an op-ed columnist.

    However, he let's his biases get in the way here as his evidence for Hillary's plan being better rests on one analysis. He could at some point dispute analysis about Obama's plan being better, but he has intentionally chosen to ignore those papers as he presents his  case to his audience at the NYtimes.

  •  "Why does he hate Obama so much?" (0+ / 0-)

    Better question: why has he been so obviously favoring the Clintons to the point of ruining his already questionable reputation?

    The Campaign is Dead. Long Live the Campaign.

    by SteamPunkX on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:08:57 AM PST

  •  Mandated insurance is not UHC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cybrestrike

    Hate to rain on anyone parade, but there is a huge difference between mandated private health insurance and universal health care.  Mandating private health insurance has yet to be proven to reduce health care costs for the majority, and will do little in the short term to make what is not affordable now more affordable for those who do not have insurance.  

    If the mandates come with fixed pricing, no ability for companies to reject participants (or to quote them premiums they could never pay to avoid covering them), and no ability for companies to cancel insurance because you spelled your name wrong on the application or forgot the date of your last physical, it's a step in the right direction. But please don't confuse mandates with universal coverage.

  •  MD / Healthcare Consultant NOT 4 Mandates (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcbowman, cybrestrike

    I haven't read many of the comments in this string, but there are so many individuals in the industry committed to universal coverage who think mandates are the worst idea ever and a political non-starter. Witness New York state, where because of all of the coverage mandates, there are more uninsured individuals than there ought to be because premium costs are through the roof, despite having a fairly extensive State safety net and extensive State expenditures on healthcare. We are not talking about a State like mine (Nevada) that spends very little on healthcare and it shows (48 / 49 in healthcare quality); New York should be the best based on the money it spends and yet there are a lot of uninsured relative to the money it DOES spend.

    And are you going to get independents and Republicans to buy into a program that sounds like Big Brother telling them what they "have" to do? No, you get them on board because it just makes the most sense from a cost-benefit perspective. Having lower cost coverage that focuses on preventive care and catatrophic and emergency care will bring more healthy people into the risk pool because it will just make sense to them for them to join. No one in their right mind chooses not to have healthcare insurance.

    Of course, you will always have loonies who choose not to have coverage, but we can't control those people. These are the same people who refuse to pay taxes, but instead of putting them in prison, just send them a bill for their medical care and put them in bankruptcy.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I do work for insurance companies, but I work in the area of improving healthcare quality (yes, some parts of insurance companies do care about quality) and most of my client staff are true blue Democrats, unlike their senior management. In fact, the rank and file of most health insurance companies are Democrats and support universal coverage. Because it's the right thing to do and because we're all paying for the uninsured anyway, through increased premiums and cost shifting.

    Just my two cents. BTW, go Obama on Super Tuesday! As his captain, he won my precinct in Nevada a few weeks ago!

  •  These attacks on Krugman make Obama look bad (0+ / 0-)

    For the record, I plan to vote for Obama on Tuesday.

    However, I think that Krugman's criticisms of Obama's health plan are, in essence, correct, and efforts by Obama's supporters to trash the man will backfire.  Trying to destroy the reputation of a critic is out of the Republican playbook.

    For me, the fact that Clinton's health care plan is better (though still flawed) is outweighed for me by the fact that Obama has much better judgment on foreign policy and security issues, and the fact that any presidential health plan is only a proposal, which will be changed by Congress and will require many compromises to be enacted.

    Just the same, Krugman is right that what Obama's talking about isn't going to get us to universal coverage.  It will help some people, but the young and healthy will skip buying insurance, meaning that the insurance pool will have too many sick people.  This means that there's not going to be any cost containment.

    There are too many Kossacks who have thrown their brains away.  Their chosen candidate has to be better by every measure, just universally superior, and any criticism must be a devious plot.  They'll even claim that journalists who criticize their man or woman must be secretly on someone's payroll.

    •  Good God (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cybrestrike

      The numbers in Mass, the only place where individual mandates have been implemented, show that people with income below 400% of the Federal Poverty Level do not buy the insurance even with the mandate because they can't afford it. This is exactly why Obama has advocated issuing mandates later, and so has John Edwards.

      Gruber's paper, quoted by Krugman, makes the assumption that individual mandates cover 95% of the people. Gruber even says that it has not been effected in practice!

      Look, I know I come across as angry, but I'm not trying to ruin Krugman's career or anything. He's irritating me because he's being disingenuous, and so many people are lapping it up when the numbers in practice show that the poor are hurt disproportionately.

      The Schwarzenegger plan... It forces everyone to buy health insurance, whether they think they need it or not. - Paul Krugman, using right wing talking points.

      by bhagamu on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 10:39:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Where's Uwe Reinhardt's name? (0+ / 0-)

    It's not on the list, and for good reason.  Reinhardt is the top health economist in the United States today, with the longest experience. (You can google him)  He is the source (if any were needed) of Krugman's dismissal of Obama's plan as self-defeating.  We are talking economics here.  Any plan that allows people to choose will result in adverse selection: the good risks (young people) take the cheap private care because they don't need it.  The bad risks (and people in time become bad risks) get dumped on the public system.

    Insurance is a form of sharing risk.  Health risks are not in general the same kind of risk as that attached to car accidents or fire.  People are genetically disposed to get old and sick.  A universal system pools that genetic risk, just as our present social security system, which Obama is also soft on, pools the cost of taking care of people in their old age by means of an inter-generational transfer.

    Just so no one gets me wrong, I prefer Ogbama to Senator Clinton, because he represents a new wave that on balance should help the United States lift at least one foot out of its present swampland.  I don't prefer his social policies.  You don't have to like everything about a candidate to support him or her.

  •  Mandates are a windfall for insurance companies!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcbowman, 14justice
  •  Poll is missing the third option: "Neither." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TekBoss, mrchumchum

    Oh, I like to think my candidate will eventually show the gumption to start pushing for universal health care, but I'm not all that sanguine about it, and neither one is doing so yet. Any speculation on who is most likely to in future is a question of our faith in their basic characters. If you strongly believe in your candidate on this question, fine, vote in this poll. I don't think either of them is showing much promise of ever planning to push for actual universal health care. I will tell my candidate that I'm disappointed in the current platform on healthcare, and I will tell the eventual Democratic candidate, whoever it is, the same damn thing after the convention. And I'll vote for whoever it is, and I sure as hell won't hold my breath for actual universal health care in the United States.

    Want a more balanced diary than any of the others on this issue? Go to grannyhelen's diary.

    Cry, the beloved country, these things are not yet at an end. - Alan Paton

    by rcbowman on Mon Feb 04, 2008 at 09:39:44 AM PST

  •  Neither (0+ / 0-)

    But both plans will set us up for yet another failure of the insurance-driven, employer-sponsored healthcare system.

    The only thing that salvage healthcare for either as president is a Congress that is ready to actually create a universal healthcare system.

  •  Single-Payer Universal Health Care (1+ / 0-