Kevin Drum says:
I sure wish that overall subsidy levels in the current healthcare bills produced the same kind of uproar as abortion and the public option. In terms of real-world effect on real-world people, subsidies are the biggest issue by a mile. But not a very sexy issue, apparently. That’s too bad.
Three points on this. One is just that the White House undercut efforts to organize around really generous subsidies by setting a $900 billion overall price tag during his big congressional speech. Another is that moderate Democrats by-and-large seem to have accepted this number, and not seriously pushed for a $600 billion bill or whatever. So there’s a certain amount of fatalism.
Last, I think most people see subsidies as the kind of thing that’s relatively likely to be tinkered with and revisited in the future. If a public option isn’t enacted in 2009, it’s not going to arrive in 2015. The subsidies, by contrast, are bound to be tweaked.