Of Course AHIP is Funding the Attack on Health Reform
Once again, in what I shrilly take to be his care to not be perceived as too shrill or too, you know, progressive, Ezra Klein tries to make the argument that the Republican Party and the conservative movement are out in front and out of control in their attacking health reform, in ways that are not supported or funded by big business in general and AHIP in particular.
That is both silly and wrong, and as evidence listen to the dog that is not barking.
In the midst of the attacks that are pre-scripted lies (e.g., deathers) and the attacks that are ass-half-backward truths (it is too expensive; it would control costs better if it was single payer and if the government could negotiate aggressively with Pharma), listen to the attack not being made: As Daniel DeGroot points out, the right-wing and the Republicans are not aggressively attacking Individual Mandates?
From a right-wing libertarian perspective they should be perceived as a government attack on freedom. Surely they don't big bad government forcing freedom loving Americans to buy a for-profit private product?
Oh yeah, that's right, it is because AHIP and their allies want Individual Mandates. That is the part of the deal they need. Forced customers.
Back during the primaries, the Republicans and conservatives felt free to attack Clinton (and Romney) for individual mandates.
But now that actual legislation is being made, and the fix is (more or less) in, and AHIP and their allies want THEIR reform... the attack dogs have to be selective: Attack Democrats. Attack progressives. Weaken public option. Weaken the exchange and who can be eligible in the exchange for public option. Attack the employer mandates. Design whatever passes so that they can still, de facto if not de jure, to dump expensive sick people and poor people into one or another government plan (guaranteeing it to become a costly failure). Be sure to continue their ability to skim at the beginning, transfer and dump in the middle and to rescission, etc.
But don't get serious about systematically, loudly, fervently attacking individual mandates, or the whole house of cards might tumble.
When the dog does not bark, it has been well paid by its masters to be silent.