Dave Weigel highlights a GOP health care “survey” that, even by the standards of these sorts of fake fundraising push-polls seems awfully egregious. Among other things, it suggests that under Obamacare, Republicans will be singled out for inferior treatment or denied care. What actually jumped out at me, though, was another pair of questions:
Do you approve of the Republican plan to give small businesses tax breaks to cover the cost of their employees’ health care insurance?
Over 120 million Americans currently receive health care insurance through their employment. Should this private sector health coverage be preserved in any health care reform plan?
I had thought one thing liberals and conservatives—or at least liberal and conservative health care wonks—were in agreement about is that the employer-based system we have under the status quo, a product of a WWII era quirk in the tax code, is basically indefensible. The main argument is usually about whether it would be better to go toward a more individualized market-based model or a more European-style model with a larger role for government. Obviously, it’s easier to trigger anxiety about deviations from the status quo than to make the case about which kind of change is best—for both parties. Back during the election, John McCain’s own proposal similarly involved reforming the tax code in a way that would push us away from the employer-based system, and folks on the left were quick to jump on this.