Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dean's Logic

So, Howard Dean now explains his principles:
Any measure that expands private insurers' monopoly over health care and transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations is not real health-care reform.
Obvious follow-up question:

Does Howard Dean and do other progressives who stand with him against the Senate bill now oppose COBRA, and urge Congress to reject the current enhanced COBRA extension?

COBRA certainly "expands private insurers' monopoly over health care" even more than does the reform bill (since the reform bill moves some people to medicaid, while COBRA presumably winds up keeping some people off of medicaid; both move people from no insurance to private insurance), and certainly "transfers millions of taxpayer dollars to private corporations."

Just asking.


  1. Come on. That's an apples to oranges comparison.

    And mandating 30 million people to purchase private insurance (+/- how many for Medicaid) is quite a bit more than the 14 million who are eligible for COBRA subsidy, let alone the only 38% of that 14 million who receive it.

    (source- Hewitt Associates; for some reason I can't paste the link in here?)


    Here is the link.

  3. Apples to oranges? Why?

    No, really. I'm willing to be convinced, but I'll need an argument.

    I understand the mandate is a potential issue for some, but (1) Howard Dean isn't Ron Paul, and (2) he didn't make an argument like that. In fact, he doesn't even talk about subsidy levels in his op-ed; he mostly just talks about how horrible the insurance companies are, and how bad it is that they'll (according to him; Jon Cohn isn't so sure) make a lot of money from the bill.

    But that's true of COBRA, too. So, why is it apples and oranges?

  4. Didn't COBRA come into being through reconciliation? Doesn't it stand for the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act? Isn't this proof that a program that helps people get insurance can be passed through the reconciliation process?

    Will ANYONE engage on that argument?

  5. Yes, COBRA was created through reconciliation. Yes, lots of things that could help people get insurance can be done through reconciliation. For better or worse, however, there are plenty of things that can't be done through reconciliation (basically, things that have no budget impact), including quite a few important provisions of the health care bill.


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