Thursday, January 21, 2010

Piecemeal won't work.

Ezra Klein explains why you can't just chop up the bill and pass it in various parts. Ignore the fact that the GOP will most likely find a way to oppose even the uncontroversial parts of HCR. This is the policy argument:

Let's say you want to take out everything but the insurance regulations. If sick people can buy insurance for the same price as healthy people, sick people will rush into the system, healthy people will rush out, and premiums will become unaffordable for both sick and healthy people. Let's say you want to keep the regulations and the individual mandate, so healthy people stick around. Well, without the subsidies, premiums will be too expensive for people, and you'll be penalizing them for something they can't afford, which will create a massive and rapid backlash. Let's say you want subsidies with no insurance regulations. Insurers will jack up prices on the sick and exult in the new rush of healthy customers. The pieces of this bill aren't like different courses of a meal. They're like different legs of a stool.

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