Populist movements don't build themselves ...

... It doesn't matter what the "horse race" outcome of the campaign is, if we fight the campaign. Fighting it, we learn how to fight. Learning how to fight political battles, we become citizens again. Becoming citizens again, we reclaim the Republic that lies dormant beneath the bread and circuses of modern American society.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Robust Public Choice Made Simple

Burning the Midnight Oil for the Next American Revolution
crossposted from The Hillbilly Report

\From some online dictionary somewhere:
Robustness is the quality of being able to withstand stresses, pressures, or changes in procedure or circumstance

So: (1) Public Choice

"No Taxation without Representation". Every single person facing an individual mandate must be provided with the choice of a publicly administered plan. Otherwise the government is forcing the citizen to pay without the elected representatives of the citizen controlling the spending.

You want to put a trigger on the public option. Fine, except the exact same trigger applies to the individual mandate.

You want to restrict access to the public option to some smaller group? Fine, except the same restriction applies to the individual mandate.

The system is not politically legitimate if it requires payment to for-profit commercial corporations.

(2) Robust

It cannot be lumbered down with any restrictions not faced by private insurers.

State by state public options? Really? You are really prepared to restrict the corporations to firms with no commercial activity across state lines? If they are free standing state by state public options, it has to be state by state for profit corporations. Oh, not allowing UHC into the exchanges defeats the purpose of lining private pockets at the public expense? Yeah, kind of thought so.

The hard question is how to accomplish it. It would seem that it is necessary for the House Bill to include language that specifically states that the public choice does not face any restrictions not faced by commercial corporations with plans in the exchange, and explicit language that nobody can be subject to a mandate unless they have access to the public choice.

With that language in there, a conference report stripping it out would require a provision doing the dirty work. That provision could be struck by the House when the conferees report.

That is, a conference report included the laundry list of amendments to each sides bill to make them the same bill, and while no new amendments can be offered, AFAIU, a chamber has the right to strike a provision.

That might result in a second conference, but so be it: it seems highly likely that the Senate conferees will not believe that the House progressive caucus will really, truly stand up for what were, after all, the very first "progressive" principles in our history as a nation-state - until they, in fact, do so.

Midnight Oil "Dreamworld" video