All the candidates except Obama have proposed what is essentially the same health care plan; we'll mandate that you buy health insurance from an insurance company and give some people and companies tax credits to do it, along with regulating private insurance more aggressively. I've been thinking about this, and these plans don't actually make any sense.
Matthew Yglesias hits on something important, but I think is slightly off on the politics of filibustering and how they relate to health care.
This is why I'm skeptical that any of these big picture health care reforms can possibly pass. It's going to be very much in the interests of the Republican to block ay such proposals -- irrespective of their content -- and the rewards to wavering Democrats for abandoning the reform side will be large.
There's another possibility, which is that the best parts of the plan get removed in a compromise and we end up with something like the Massachusetts monstrosity where everyone has to buy expensive bad health care plans and then it all collapses. This is the most likely scenario, since insurance companies would prefer it to the current model, the Democrats are going to want to 'do something' about health care, and gravity will take over.
A mandated premium is the same thing as a tax, only it goes to private companies instead of the government. Redstate makes the appropriate argument by pointing to this passage.
[Clinton] said she could envision a day when "you have to show proof to your employer that you're insured as a part of the job interview like when your kid goes to school and has to show proof of vaccination," but said such details would be worked out through negotiations with Congress.
First of all, that's awful. We already have an IRS, we don't need another one. Second of all, how is that going to get 60 votes in the Senate without some huge subsidies to the insurance industry? It won't, unless the next President proposes it, Congress won't act, and it becomes a voting issue in 2010 and the public crushes the opposing members in Congress. And if that's the only scenario to put forward this kind of health care plan, why not just do single payer?