Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Heel of a Loaf: the Obama Plan

Obama's done an excellent job of making a case for the Democratic Party consensus. A mandate, some supports for the most needy, some tepid support for a public option, no talk about regulation. Is this the best system? That's still Medicare for all. Is this a just system? As proposed, it seems to require the lower middle class and the small businessperson to pay the biggest share. So, not just. Is it better than what we have now? Probably, at least until the insurance companies figure out a way to squeeze so much money out of it that no-one can pay. Not even half a loaf; the heel of a loaf.
  • Big winners:
    • The insurance industry will clean up at taxpayer expense.
    • Big corporations maintain their big hiring advantage over small businesses.
  • Moderate winners:
    • My corporate-employee friends will have an easier time changing jobs.
    • The truly poor will get a bit of help with the insurance they’ll be required to purchase.
  • Half loaves:
    • People who want to quit their corporate jobs & start their own businesses not only lose their corporate insurance, but have to pay the unregulated independent insurance rates.
    • My writer and artist friends will be required to spend scarce money on insurance at unregulated rates. Same thing for the baristas. There may actually be a health advantage to a lower income.
  • Big loser:
    • Social justice. Taxing the lower middle class and the independent businessperson to the advantage of the insurance industry and big business is unjust.

[Edited for clarity and to remove some swearing.]


John Emerson said...

Beyond unjust, it's political poison.

Raven Onthill said...

It is. I wonder at it, really. The Democrats have to know that alienating the working class--and that's what this does--is the road to political ruin.