23 February 2008

Universal health care

One of Senator Clinton's last ditch attempts during the Texas debate to separate herself from Senator Obama, policy-wise, was to draw distinctions between their plans for overhauling the health insurance industry. The New York Times has an excellent article describing how the argument is mostly pointless because the candidates don't describe their plans in enough detail to actually establish what differences they would have in outcome.

Even given fully detailed plans would only go as far as to allow economists and actuaries to model what might happen in each case. This isn't a debate about the ultimate aim of health care reform: both candidates have repeatedly said they favour universal coverage. It's a debate amongst their respective technocrats about how to achieve that goal, and I don't think there's enough data to declare whose plan is better.

Finally there's the issue that neither plan is worth the paper it's written on unless it can be passed by Congress. Where's the debate, therefore, about how to get these laws enacted?

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