Friday, November 02, 2007
Mr. Brownstein presents the idea that the Schwarzenegger plan is a centrist plan. I don't know what his idea of a conservative plan would be. It seems to me that the Schwarzenegger plaln is actually very conservative. It keeps all the elements of the present broken plan and applies both band-aids and force to make it work properly. The force is the requirement that everyone buy private insurance. The band-aid is the subsidy for people who can't afford insurance.
There is a liberal or progressive plan, advanced by State Senator Sheila Kuehl here in California and in the Congress by Representative John Conyers of Michigan. That plan gets rid of the private insurers by replacing them with a single-payer insurance pool that includes everyone. Everyone pays into the pool as part of their taxes. The profit-hungry insurers are deleted. Similar plans work well in Canada and in several European countries.
Mr. Brownstein presents a distorted account of reality. He implies that Schwarzenegger's plan is "liberal," and that the "liberal" labor unions are opposing it. Actually, the Schwarzenegger plan is a Republican plan. It was enacted in Massachusetts with the support of a Republican Governor and Republican (and Democratic) members of the legislature. Mr. Schwarzenegger's plan is like the plan proposed several years ago by a Republican member of the California Assembly. We liberals have little interest in it. We have our own "liberal" plan, a plan that has worked well in other parts of the world. To us, the Schwarzenegger-Massachusetts plan has not demonstrated that it is capable of providing good quality health care to all at a price that our society can afford.