The trigger is dead, long live the co-op! I won’t go into the details of why the co-op idea won’t work – Scarecrow and Jason Rosenbaum (as well as commenter MosquitoFleet) have already covered that far better than I ever could. No, I wanted to point out Jason’s first paragraph:
We’re going to see a lot of these kinds of "compromises" from now until we pass a health reform bill through Congress. First, we had the "trigger" proposal, designed to effectively kill a public health insurance option. Now, we have the "co-op" proposal.
When all is said and done (or not done), the bogus compromises will be as numerous as the justifications for invading Iraq… and as credible. The conservative Democrats who keep introducing these brainstorms understand that most Americans are hungry for reform of our dysfunctional and overpriced healthcare system, but they also understand that their big insurance donors will be very displeased if their profits decline.
Which is why those conservative Democrats – and probably some mainstream ones – so desperately want to split the difference by passing a bill that looks like healthcare reform but isn’t. All these gimmicks like the trigger and the co-ops are attempts to find just the right shade of lipstick to make their faux-reform pig look good enough to vote for, and perhaps provide some plausible deniability when the scam falls apart.
What worries me is that so many Democrats have a long history of overestimating pig attractiveness (Jason’s post contains some excellent guidelines for pig-appraising, let’s hope they read it).
What frustrates me is the thought of how good our healthcare system could be if even a fraction of the effort and ingenuity invested in its failure was invested in its success.