If you want universal health care, AHIP — the insurance industry trade group — is happy to give it to you. But there’s a price. They released a plan today, ably described by Igor Volsky at the Wonk Room:
AHIP is all for “affordable” coverage on the government’s dime. That is, rather than agreeing to end premium discrimination based on age or sex, it wants the government to issue tax credits and cap total health expenditures for lower-income individuals to protect Americans from bankruptcy. The plan calls on the government to ensure affordability, while protecting industry profits.
This is why I hope we don’t see Barack Obama giving a table-pounding speech absolutely demanding that congress pass a universal health care bill. Health care reform is urgent, but the point of reform is to actually make things better, not just to anything that happens to constitute reform. So you push for change, but also leave yourself the room necessary to say “no” to a one-sided proposal.