Friday, February 12, 2010

Gingrich and Goodman's Semi-Lame Ideas

The Republicans have some pressure now to show that they are skilled at more than just blocking the Democrats. They need to come up with some ideas of their own. In two posts, I give two examples: First, a set of ideas for health care reform that don't really excite me, from Newt Gingrich and John Goodman, as they wrote in an editorial in the WSJ.

Gingrich and Goodman start out with a couple OK ideas. Give consumers the choice of either a tax credit or a deduction for health insurance, and have it be a fixed dollar amount regardless of how much insurance one purchases. Make insurance portable they say. (But they don't say clearly if they mean to sever the link of tax credits/deductions to employment. Just saying that "Employers should be encouraged to provide employees with insurance that travels with them from job to job..." Why not take the big step and make the tax credit/deduction separate from employment?)

After the first couple points that could have some effect if they were made a little more powerful, the two Republicans end up with a list of rather minor and vague points: "Allow doctors and patients to control costs." "Don't cut Medicare." "Inform consumers."

I almost fell asleep reading it. Zero intellectual excitement.

On to a better version in the next post.

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