Hillary's Health 2.0: Expect Big, Expensive Things

When any other Democratic candidate announces a health-care reform plan, it’s a thoroughly wonkish moment in the campaign. When Hillary announces hers, as she will today, it’s high drama: See, she’s tackled the subject once before, as First Lady, and destroyed the congressional Democratic majority in the process. The plan Clinton is set to propose this time centers on the “individual mandate,” which sounds totally empowering but is actually a Clintonian way of saying health insurance will be a requirement akin to auto insurance. Instead of tearing down the existing system, the plan expands it in every direction. The companies now offering health care to their employees will be able to simply continue to do so; those that don’t will have to either start or chip in toward a federal health-care kitty. The remaining uninsured get a tax credit to buy coverage, and the criticism you’ll hear from every Republican for the next thirteen months (oh, God) is that this two-step transaction is somehow limiting and invasive.

More exciting, the health-care-plan rollout is a way to check the candidates’ compatibility. Should Hillary get the nomination, John Edwards’s potential-veep stock would go up, since his plan is very similar to hers. Not so Obama’s; Barack thinks the “individual mandate” approach would overburden working-class families. At least all three agree who’s going to pay for the plan: Say bye to Bush’s tax cuts for the rich.

Clinton To Offer Health-Care Plan [Yahoo News]