Thursday, April 24, 2003

Gephardt's Gamble
To be completely honest, I have not had the time to fully digest Gephardt's universal health insurance plan, but a couple of items jump right out as troubling. Of course, the most obvious problem is the plan's cost- $2.5 trillion over 10 years- that requires elimination of the entire Bush tax cut and yet would still leave the budget awash in red ink. Keep in mind that the Bush tax cut did have some progressive elements that benefited working class and poor Americans. The other aspect that I would take issue with is its huge subsidies to corporations who already provide health insurance for their workers. A much more trageted approach would focus only on these individuals who did not now have health insurance, while not disadvantaging companies that already provide insurance. I think Gephardt's plan fails on this account. Perhaps if the plan were not so broad the cost would come down and both problems might be solved. Health care is an important issue, but it is also one of the more complex policy areas, so credit has to be given to Gephardt for his willingness to go out on a limb.


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