The Agenda

Healthcare Reform: All or Nothing

Keith Hennessey explains why the Obama health reform effort can’t happen on a piecemeal basis. The message has changed, but the endgame is the same. 

One thing I find depressing about the debate: unlike Hennessey, I do think we need a fairly serious overhaul of the way we finance healthcare. (More on this to come.) My core view is that we need to accept that job-based coverage doesn’t work. The real substantive vulnerability of the Obama approach is that it is in a sense too cautious in unraveling a broken system and fostering a healthcare marketplace that delivers lower costs and higher quality. The political vulnerability, in contrast, is that the Obama approach might accelerate the unraveling of job-based coverage. Political goals and policy goals are at odds.

I realize that this is blindingly obvious to many of you.  

Reihan Salam is president of the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

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