George Will does a great job cutting to the essentials of the healthcare debate. After explaining why the “public option” will necessarily (and intentionally) crowd out private insurance and describing who make up the “uninsured” populatoin (hint, most aren’t long-term uninsured, and many aren’t poor), he offers an alternative reform:
Insuring the perhaps 20 million persons who are protractedly uninsured because they cannot afford insurance is conceptually simple: Give them money — (refundable) tax credits or debit cards (which have replaced food stamps) loaded with a particular value. This would produce people who are more empowered than dependent. Unfortunately, advocates of a government option consider that a defect. Which is why the simple idea of the dependency agenda cuts like a razor through the complexities of this debate.