"The HillBar Heatlhcare Plan Revealed" showed that the complexity, cost and government intrusion common to the health plans of both Hillary and Barack leave them wide open to attack from both the left and the right, making it unlikely that either will ever be passed. And it seems to me that both Barack and Hillary are missing an opportunity to differentiate themselves by changing course and coming out for HR 676, a move that would boost their prospects by putting themselves on the side of the angels vis-a-vis healthcare and opening up an easily won debate.
But until I saw Miles Mogulescu's entry yesterday on Huffington Post, I failed to notice a more portentous implication of the crazy quilt "HillBar" plan: it gravely threatens Democratic election prospects in November. As pointed out by Miles, McCain can tear into the mandates of the supposedly "politically safe" HillBar plan like a buzz saw:
So here's what John McCain will say to a candidate running on a mandate plan: "The Democrats want to punish the middle class with a backdoor tax. If you're an uninsured family and make over $40,000 a year so you aren't poor enough for subsidies but can't afford insurance, the Democrats will fine you or garnishee thousands of dollars of your wages since the average policy for a family of 4 is $12,000." That should be enough to scare off millions of middle class families from voting for a Democrat.
The economics of middle class families will dominate this election, and the HillBar plan hands McCain a club he will use for bashing the Democrats on middle class economics, drowning out other critical economic questions where his positions are untenable. He can easily--and correctly--expose the complexities and the economic idiocies of the HillBar plan. It could cost the Dems the election.
Take a look at the excellent postby Miles, and also the earlier posts he links to.