Bush Keeping the Insurance Industry Happy
President Bush's proposal for a health insurance tax deduction could cost millions of Americans their employer-based health coverage. Luckily, as the AP reports, it's going nowhere
But it does represent a dangerous direction in the health care debate: away from a truly progressive policy and straight into the grasping arms of the insurance industry:
[I]nsurers like the president's focus on health care going into the year.Update: Ezra Klein's take
"With the president coming forward and making health care such a major issue on his priority list, I think progress is definitely possible," [Insurance industry representative Karen] Ignagni said. "We're going to see views and positions from all sides. We see that as a very promising thing. More and more people will come to the view that we've reached a tipping point."
on this is completely different. He sees the Bush plan as a small - but at least positive - step toward uncoupling health insurance from work. I absolutely agree with that as a larger goal, but I'm concerned that this kind of incrementalism - limiting deductions on employer-based care without addressing the need for systematic and affordable coverage - could cause a lot of people to lose care they need now
. If this is a "tentative first step" towards real reform, great - but how many people will lose their affordable insurance before we step forward far enough?Update #2:
Ezra says, "I was wrong."
So never mind. We all agree it sucks.
Labels: George Bush, Health Insurance