Jonathan Chait at Daily Intelligencer explains the Obamacare "keep your plan" debacle. People are upset over President Obama's broken "keep your plan" promise. But "the justifiable scrutiny of Obama’s veracity has melded seamlessly into a second and very different claim: That Obama’s broken promise is not merely a violation of trust, a fair enough charge, but an act of unfairness to those who have lost their plans," Chait explains. Of those Americans who don't get coverage through their employer or Medicare/Medicaid, 5 percent are insured. Some of that 5 percent will get less expensive insurance under Obamacare. But what about people whose premiums go up? Some of them might be mistaken: "A great many of the people who are happy with their individual health-insurance plan are happy only because they are unaware of its actual value." And some will have to pay more. In employer-based insurance, "people accept this transfer from the healthy to the sick because it is the only way to make medical care affordable to the sick. This is a simple mathematical truism." Bottom line? "If you believe the healthy are entitled to keep the financial benefits of their good health, then you must also believe the sick must be denied medical care. Should that principle be the foundation of our health-care system?" Health economist Austin Fraxt tweets, "w/ remarkable efficiency, @jonathanchait sums up the health debate du jour and delivers the sharp, moral question."
Alex Pareene at Salon on Obamacare's problems. "Nearly all the news Americans have seen regarding the rollout of the exchanges ... has been relentlessly negative," Pareene writes. "That’s bad news for the success of the law, and it’s also bad news for the liberal experiment. ... For most Americans, Obamacare is, so far, canceled plans and a nonworking website." Even if the website gets fixed by November, stories about people losing plans will dominate the news for months. "All of that is exactly why this is a dumb way to give people health insurance. ... [The ACA] will improve most of those people’s lives, but it will do so in a way that feels as coercive as possible." For Obamacare, "the ask should’ve been bigger." A government-oriented program as opposed to the market-based solution that Obamacare is would be much more straightforward. "So what is to be done? Democrats who aren’t Obama should already be working on easy-to-grasp proposals to 'reform' the ACA — to make it more public and less private." Garance Franke-Ruta of The Atlantic tweets this line from the piece: "This is a program that, by design, is going to annoy literally millions of Americans immediately."