As the health care “summit” kicks off, the word is that President Obama has prepared a fall-back plan that would provide health insurance to millions of Americans (perhaps as many as 15 million). Reportedly, the plan would require insurance companies to allow people up to 26 years old to stay on their parents’ health plans, and would expand two federal-state health programs, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
I know plenty of folks who, given the job market for college grads these days, would get behind the first part of this program.
The cost of this plan is said to be in the neighborhood of $250 billion, which is about one-fourth of what the administration says (unconvincingly) Obamacare would cost. However, I would take this number with a grain of salt, especially since the details of the plan itself remain sketchy.
The fall-back plan represents incrementalism, which is what many Republicans have advocated. However, as far as I can tell, it wouldn’t do anything to reduce costs or otherwise meaningfully reform the system.
Perhaps as a fall-back from its fall-back, the White House would consider some tort reform and changes in how insurance can be sold.
UPDATE: For those of you who didn’t follow basketball in the 1960s, the title of this post refers to what sweet-shooting Dick Barnett used to say after launching long-range jump shots — the idea being that the shot was going in and it was time to fall back and play defense. The title is somewhat inapt, since Obamacare lacks the probability for success that was associated with Barnett’s jumpers.
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