This in tonight’s Wall Street Journal, “Narrower Targets Set for Health Overhaul“:
As Democrats regroup on plans to overhaul the health-care system after a Republican win in last week’s Massachusetts Senate election, comments Sunday indicated that any revamped legislation would likely focus on the least-controversial elements of earlier proposals.
White House officials notably didn’t emphasize that any revised legislation should include a major expansion of health insurance. Expanding coverage to the uninsured was the key plank of the separate health bills passed by the House and Senate last year, but such efforts largely accounted for the about $1 trillion cost of the bills, and Republicans decried them as too costly.
Yves here. In case you missed it, let me translate: Obama is willing to give up on extending coverage to the uninsured.
What is the bloody point of the bill if he drops that? As we discussed earlier, the claim that the bill eliminates insurers denying coverage for pre-existing conditions is a canard. The bill preserves an out for fraud or intentional misrepresentation, and fraud is so liberally defined under current law that is the reason insurers use NOW to deny coverage.
So all that is left is the transfer of wealth to the insurers (recall that some younger people now choose to play the odds and not buy insurance; they’d face penalties under the new bill if they continued to do so, and to improve optics, there will no doubt be a smoke-and-mirrors plan to cover the currently uninsured) and the bennies to Big Pharma, such as restrictions on the reimportation of drugs.