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Coherence Lost


Julian Sanchez on the health-care bill (via Douthat):

So we’re eliminating the rationale for the role private insurance companies play in our system, but insisting that it continue to revolve around them and, even better, handing them an enormous subsidy.  What we’ve eliminated is the counterweight designed to check costs, because that part, according to a logic I completely fail to fathom, is especially socialist.

What’s remarkable about this is how naked and brazen it is. That is, I can’t come up with any remotely coherent pretext for thinking this particular policy combination makes sense on any set of background assumptions or values. (Which isn’t to say the same system with the public option was much more coherent.)  Contemplate how extraordinary that is: There’s almost always at least some fig leaf of an ideological principle or an economic argument strung up in front of even the most naked interest group grab.  But nobody seems to be even pretending this compromise amounts to anything but an open bribe to the very insurers whose existence it renders unjustifiable.