by Patrick Appel
Ezra defends the individual mandate against Kos:
In a world with an individual mandate, insurance has to be affordable. If it's not, there's a huge political backlash. That gives Congress a direct incentive to focus on cost. Remove the individual mandate and ... eh. If insurance isn't affordable, people simply go uninsured. It's exactly what happens now. Same incentives, or lack thereof, to make the system better.
Blumenthal looks at how it polls:
Requiring that everyone buy affordable insurance sounds mostly inoffensive. Requiring people to buy coverage that is too expensive could prove to be a very unpopular proposition. The real impact that this proposal will have on the cost of insurance is what should be the focus. That's the subject of Nate Silver's analysis this morning and is a worthy subject for further discussion and debate.
Reihan imagines a mandate-less world:
Without a mandate, a "nondiscrimination" rule would lead to a situation in which no one would buy health insurance until it became clear that they needed it, thus destroying the viability of the industry as we know it. One could argue that a mandate would create powerful political pressures to restrain growth in insurance premiums. But would the end of health insurance as know create powerful market pressures to restrain growth in the cost of various medical procedures, and create a market for true insurance policies that cover unforeseen, catastrophic expenditures?
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