Reading The Fine Print

Free Exchange whispers healthcare reform's dirty little secret:

The unspoken truth about Mr Obama's (entirely justified and courageous) effort to reach universal coverage is that you may not be able to keep your existing health planat least, not at the same price. That is because paying for expanding coverage must involve capping or eliminating the tax exclusion currently favouring employer-based health cover. That single distortion of the tax code costs some $250 billion a yearthe biggest kitty of money lying around in Washington. But tapping some of that inevitably means some Americans will see de facto tax increases.
When The Economist recently asked him how this circle can be squared, Tom Daschle offered this explanation recently: you can keep your health plan if you really like it, he insisted, but it will probably cost you more to do so. President Obama conveniently leaves out those few words from his mantra, but that in fact is the dirty little secret behind a plan that promises that America can have its cake and eat it too.