Numbers whiz Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com has, intriguingly, become the staunchest defender of the Senate healthcare compromise. He poses 20 questions for bill killers here, makes his “elevator pitch” here, and debates Kos and FDL’s Jon Walker here. The debate is on.
BTW, on Mandates, Kos makes a hell of a point, though it might not be the most relevant, given what is possible in an American Congress:
Ezra Klein takes me to task for my opposition to the mandate, pointing out that Switzerland, among other systems, have mandates that require citizens to purchase health insurance from private insurers. It’s true. They do. Those countries also have strict regulatory regimes that heavily regulate those insurance companies. In Switzerland, for example, insurance companies cannot profit from the essential benefits plan everyone must purchase. That’s kind of an important detail missing from the Senate’s monstrosity of a bill. In addition, Switzerland also strictly regulates the price of medicines and medical devices — something this Senate has explicitly refused to allow.
And another point: as bad as I think the healthcare bill is, it’s worth having the debate over whether it should be killed, or salvaged in some form. At the moment, I’m leaning toward the former, but I think the debate needs to be had by the only side participating. Republicans, unfortunately, do not want to be at this table.
UPDATE: HoDo waylays the Senate bill in the Washington Post.