The Incoherence of Compromise
There are times when compromise merges the insights and concerns of two different camps to arrive at a stronger synthesis. And then there's what happens in the United States Senate. Jon Chait explains:
The fetishization of compromise often overlooks whether such a compromise makes any inherent sense. Not all issues lend themselves to compromise. Joe Lieberman recently piped up that he prefers to take minor steps on health care--such as banning insurance company discrimination against those with preexisting conditions--and forego covering the uninsured.
But, if you forbid insurance companies from discriminating against the sick without bringing healthy people into the risk pool, then healthy people would have no reason to buy insurance. They could just wait until they get sick and take out a policy, and the insurance companies would have to sell them one. Rates would skyrocket, and the whole system would become unaffordable. Some say we should build a bridge across a river. Others say we shouldn’t. Joe Lieberman wants to build a bridge halfway across.
The Senate Finance Committee has a health-care bill that costs about $900 billion over 10 years. The administration, as I understand it, is likely to come in around the same number. Both of these numbers are attached to a bill that experts think needs $1.2 trillion or so to really prove affordable. As I understand it, $900 billion is a compromise with senators who want to spend somewhat less money than the liberals want to spend. But it's not a compromise that makes a lot of sense given the importance of this bill or the fairly small difference between inadequacy and affordability.
September 9, 2009; 5:40 PM ET
Save & Share: Previous: Profit and the Insurance Industry
Next: Excerpts From Obama's Speech to the Joint Session of Congress
Posted by: umesh409 | September 9, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: RichardHSerlin | September 9, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: rmgregory | September 9, 2009 6:14 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pj_camp | September 9, 2009 6:19 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.