Another Reason to Delay Orszagism

A mostly political weblog.
July 23 2009 9:46 PM

Another Reason to Delay Orszagism

Thursday, July 23, 2009    

The Case for Delayed Orszagism:  One way to control health costs--at least according to the Congressional Budget Office --is to wean people away from employer-provided insurance, maybe by taxing it like other income. Once everyone's buying insurance with their own, unsubsidized dollars, the argument goes, people will be more sensitive to the price of care, more willing to shop around, and less willing to spend on unneeded treatments. 


Fair enough. But if you want to break the employer/untaxed insurance link,  won't that be easier to do if there's a public option in place with a good rep that people know they can rely on if they leave their employer's plan?   First you give everyone security. Then many of the changes necessary to control costs are that much easier to make. They will be less threatening, for one.  And even when they are still threatening--as some of the treatment-defunding plans of the Orszaggers arguably are--people will understand that the changes are needed to preserve their benefits, not to pay for extending insurance to someone else.

The two-step approach doesn't necessarily mean abandoning cost controls, in other words. It might be the only way to actually achieve reasonable controls (though put me down as doubting that the cost curve can or should actually be bent very much).

P.S.--The Case Against 'Comprehensivism':  This is the problem with a "comprehensive" plan--i.e. a plan that does everything at the same time. It's asking the public to trust that all the parts will work at once just as the experts say they will work. I don't understand why Dems seem to think it helps policy proposals like their health plan to call them "comprehensive." ... Look how that word helped sell "comprehensive immigration reform." It's just catnip for voters! (Even supporters of "comprehensive" immigration change have been gravitating toward a two-step, non -comprehensive approach: reassuring border security first, legalization later.) 

Every time a politician calls his reform "comprehensive" I look for the dangerous part that doesn't have to be there. ...  7:14 P.M.



Sports Nut

Grandmaster Clash

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

Do the Celebrities Whose Nude Photos Were Stolen Have a Case Against Apple?

The NFL Explains How It Sees “the Role of the Female”

Future Tense

Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company


How to Order Chinese Food

First, stop thinking of it as “Chinese food.”

Scotland Is Inspiring Secessionists Across America

The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant

The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 11:40 AM The Country Where Women Aren’t Allowed to Work Once They’re 36 Weeks’ Pregnant
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Sept. 18 2014 3:19 PM In Defense of Congress Leaving Town Without a New War Vote
Business Insider
Sept. 18 2014 3:31 PM What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way
Sept. 18 2014 3:24 PM Symantec Removes Its “Sexual Orientation” Filter
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 18 2014 3:30 PM How Crisis Pregnancy Centers Trick Women
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 18 2014 1:23 PM “It’s Not Every Day That You Can Beat the World Champion” An exclusive interview with chess grandmaster Fabiano Caruana.
Brow Beat
Sept. 18 2014 3:04 PM Pogo Returns With Another Utterly Catchy Disney Remix
Future Tense
Sept. 18 2014 2:39 PM Here's How to Keep Apple From Sharing Your iPhone Data With the Police
  Health & Science
Sept. 18 2014 3:35 PM Do People Still Die of Rabies? And how do you know if an animal is rabid?
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.