pesky details

from Todd Beeton @ MyDD:

In the wake of John Edwards's departure from the race, Hillary has been hitting Barack harder on the fact that her plan offers universal healthcare while his, by definition, does not. So Obama has changed his rhetoric on the stump, now throwing the term "universal" around with abandon when describing his healthcare plan, as he did both the other night at the Virginia Democratic Party Jefferson Jackson dinner and at today's University of Maryland rally. What's worse, he used fear mongering to attack Hillary's plan, saying flat out "she's going to go after your wages," referring to the tricky enforcement of a mandate healthcare system.

This is extremely problematic, for one thing, because Democrats using right-wing scare tactics on healthcare against other Democrats will, as Paul Krugman has pointed out, set back the universal healthcare cause. I mean, look at this Q and A from the FAQ on his plan from his website:

Q: I don't want the government telling me what doctors to see or what treatments to get. Will the Obama plan force these kinds of decisions on me?

A: Senator Obama agrees with you. His plan will not tell you which doctors to see or what treatments to get. Under the Obama government bureaucrat will second-guess decisions about your care.

"Government bureaucrat" as villain? Are you kidding me, who wrote this, Karl Rove?
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If you don't either cover everyone through a government system or require buy-in through a mandate system, how in the world can you call your plan "universal?" Well, if you're being honest, you can't and Obama knows it, which is why there's no mention of the term "universal" anywhere on his website.

He talks about "health care for all" and "available to all" because in his perfect world costs will be low enough and the uninsured will be compelled to buy in, but honestly, there's a whole population of young healthy and not necessarily poor people out there who don't have healthcare by choice; they're not dis-incentivized by the cost necessarily, it's that they're healthy and don't need healthcare... until they do.

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