The big debate currently taking place within progressive circles is whether to support the Senate HCR bill, or kill it. I’ve seen no better response to the “support it” crowd than this, via OpenLeft:

1. Over the medium term, how many other opportunities will exist to provide in excess of $100 billion per year in public subsidies to poor and sick people?

Over the medium term, how many other opportunities will exist to force people to spend money they don’t have on insurance that doesn’t have a cap on expenses and in some cases only has a 70% actuarial value? 100 billion in subsidies doesn’t mean squat if they come tied to an expense people can’t afford, making them buy insurance which is not particularly useful.

2. Would a bill that contained $50 billion in additional subsidies for people making less than 250% of poverty be acceptable?

No. Even at 300% or 401% (subsidies cutting off at 400%), there are people who will be forced into bankruptcy by this bill. Repeat after me, no cap on expenses, and inadequate cost controls.

This is not an easy question, and it comes down to whether or not you have faith that the Congress will use what will likely be bad legislation as a stepping-stone to better, or will it just make things worse.

Having faith in Congress is never really recommended…

You can read the whole piece at OpenLeft here.


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