Captain Hindsight fails again

Dana Milbank fantasizes about a Hilary Clinton Predidency and what it would have meant for health care reform:

Clinton campaign advisers I spoke with say she almost certainly would have pulled the plug on comprehensive health-care reform rather than allow it to monopolize the agenda for 15 months. She would have settled for a few popular items such as children’s coverage and a ban on exclusions for pre-existing conditions. That would have left millions uninsured, but it also would have left Democrats in a stronger political position and given them more strength to focus on job creation and other matters, such as immigration and energy.

No.  No no no.  Dana should have turned off the tape right then.

Forget the fact that stories like this are silly.  They always seem to conclude that the alternative would be better.  Show me the story that says that the person who lost would have done worse.  I mean, do they really think that passing comprehensive health care reform is the worst of all possible solutions?  Really?

More concerning, however, is the pass people are given in their portrayals of how things would have been different.  Campaign advisers say that she would have settled on a “ban on exclusions for pre-existing conditions.”  Nonsense.  Even the Republicans pay lip service to supporting those.  The problem is that you can’t just do that.  For reasons that we have covered again and again, you can’t just pass the ban or people may game the system and fracture the risk pool.  So you have to mandate insurance (which Candidate Clinton supported).  And if you mandate insurance you have to provide subsidies so most people can afford it.

When you do that, you have the PPACA.

Anyone who says that just want to ban the exclusions on pre-existing conditions and stops there either doesn’t know what they are talking about or is misleading you.*  Either way, you should stop listening.

*Please note that I doubt Secretary Clinton shares the views expressed by her advisers.  She seemed to understand this even better than Candidate Obama back in the primaries.

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