Weird column today by Fred Hiatt.
First he criticizes the Democrats for not trying to tax employer-provided insurance plans, but he doesn't mention the phrase excise tax. That is weird, because the excise tax in the Senate Finance bill is a tax on employer-provided insurance plans. Hiatt is permitted to think the tax is too small, or unlikely to survive a vote, or likely cause popular backlash. But he's not permitted to write as though it doesn't exist.
Second he criticizes the Democrats for not trying to regulate the "minutiae" of Medicare, even though the bills in Congress include comparative effectiveness research; expand on the billions Obama spent on electronic records in the stimulus bill; start an "innovation center" fund to test ways to move away from costly fee-for-service; and institute MedPAC, the independent advisory counsel that will try to make difficult decisions Medicare delivery and payments.
It's practically identical to Robert Samuelson's article one month ago that also reads like Samuelson has never read any of the Democrats' bills. To be clear, criticisms about cost control via employer benefit reforms and delivery systems are important, but by refusing to mention basic ingredients in the reform bills, these pieces are strangely divorced from reality.