No One Could Have Predicted
Matthew Yglesias reports that Ezra Klein reports that key Republican senators claim to be willing to compromise on health care reform. They demand that the bill not be forced through via budget reconciliation (they know no filibuster and they are irrelevant). On substance they have one line in the sand “Forcing free market plans to compete with these government-run programs would create an unlevel playing field and inevitably doom true competition,” that is, they suggest a deal.
No medicare for all public option and they will hold their nose and accept universal health insurance.
Why didn't anyone think of using the public option as a bargaining chip ? Let's google
"public insurance option" "bargaining chip"
I'm not dumping on Yglesias. I'm sure he would have made the list if I had googled slightly different strings.
The weird thing is that it is all going according to script. The health insurance companies are begging for a mandate. Did Obama realize that universality was good for the insurance companies so he could make them pay for it ? The public option would bankrupt them. Klein reports what he and many others predicted, that it would be abandoned as a bargaining concession.
I love Obama, but the political skill of the Obama team almost scares me. They are geniuses or they are very very lucky.
One quibble. Yglesias quotes without comment a false claim from Regina Herzlinger from the Manhattan Institute "Switzerland, which enables universal coverage without any governmental insurance through this system, benefits from costs 40 percent lower than the U.S. and, unlike the single-payer systems in the U.K. or Canada, excellent results for the sick." If you look at health outcomes, the U.K. and Canada have excellent results for the sick too. Yglesias is reporting on the weakness of conservative opposition to universal care, but I don't think a false claim about single payer systems should be allowed to become a consensus, because conservatives keep repeating it and non-conservatives are tired of pointing to the same evidence again and again.