Mandates are Political Suicide in '08? That's why Obama's health plan is better

Why are mandates for health insurance coverage such a big issue at this point in the campaign? It's the biggest difference in health policy between the top 3 candidates.

Yet despite these differences, most experts agree that the plans are similar in their most striking elements. Both Clinton and Obama advocate creating a new federal group insurance program. Anyone happy with their current health insurance could keep it. Otherwise, they could join the national insurance pool, which, the candidates like to point out, offers the same benefits that members of Congress enjoy. Edwards has a similar national public insurance plan, but would also create regional pools of private insurance companies, increasing the number of choices available.

Seddon Savage, president of the New Hampshire Medical Society, noted that all three plans believe health care should be part of the “social contract of society.” All three emphasize cost controls and cost savings, and focus on disease prevention.

“The details of the programs have some minor and some significant differences, but what all the plans are trying to do is set a direction, set basic principles,” she said. “I suspect if any one of these candidates is elected, we'll have a commitment to addressing these issues. We'll have a national dialogue, and details may change.”

John Thyng, campaign director for the advocacy group New Hampshire for Health Care, said with the exception of the mandate, the three plans are virtually the same.…


Robert Reich and others state that mandates will not ensure universal coverage, that at least 15% will still be uninsured becasue they cannot afford it.

in my view Obama’s would insure more people, not fewer, than HRC’s. That’s because Obama’s puts more money up front and contains sufficient subsidies to insure everyone who’s likely to need help – including all children and young adults up to 25 years old. Hers requires that everyone insure themselves.

Yet we know from experience with mandated auto insurance – and we’re learning from what’s happening in Massachusetts where health insurance is now being mandated – that mandates still leave out a lot of people at the lower end who can’t afford to insure themselves even when they’re required to do so.

HRC doesn’t indicate how she’d enforce her mandate, and I can’t find enough money in HRC’s plan to help all those who won’t be able to afford to buy it.

I’m also impressed by the up-front investments in information technology in O’s plan, and the reinsurance mechanism for coping with the costs of catastrophic illness. HRC is far less specific on both counts. In short: They’re both advances, but O’s is the better of the two. HRC has no grounds for alleging that O’s would leave out 15 million people.”

So all three will leave millions uninsured.

The big difference is mandates and polls are showing Clinton's and Edwards' mandates to be political suicide. The Republicans will use mandates like a club and could even defeat the Democrat with that as one of their top issues. Why give them that club?

One aspect of the healthcare debate that has divided Democratic candidates is whether individuals should be required to purchase coverage – Clinton and Edwards favor a mandate, while Obama does not. A slight majority of Democratic voters who were polled – including pluralities of Clinton and Edwards supporters – opposed such a requirement.

Opposition to the notion of an individual health insurance mandate — “should individuals be required to buy health insurance” — is greatest among the less well-educated and downscale voters that are the core of Clinton's base in New Hampshire and elsewhere.…


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NY Post, Daily News 2002: Bill Clinton's Affair w/Lisa Belzberg After Leaving the White House

Bill Clinton's Affair 

Lisa Belzberg

According to Huffington Post, Bill Robinson, the NY Times and the LA Times are sitting on a “Big Clinton Story” that involves his affairs since leaving the White House. Clearly a lot of Indie and other voters would not want to put Bill back in there to cheat again on national TV, just too plain old embarassing.

A Big Clinton Story

Look, I am concerned. I've just spent two weeks travelling and speaking with media elites in L.A., Chicago, NYC, and D.C. and among other things, I was repeatedly told that The New York Times and The L.A. Times are “sitting on a BIG Clinton story.” What concerns me is that this story has nothing to do with Hillary, her policy positions, her record, or her presidential potential. The “big story” everyone is sitting on apparently has to do with the many current affairs of Bill Clinton, whom, they will allege, has a gal in every port.…

This story is out there and will come out eventually — Could Hillary win nationally with such a headwind? The newspapers are sitting on these alleged affairs, already reported in the press, perhaps until after the primaries and hoping to kill the Democrat's chances? 

This is from April 2002 and seems to be what the HuffPo was speaking of.  I found it in a few minutes:

Clinton linked with wealthy socialite

THE tangled love life of Bill Clinton was again under the microscope yesterday when he was romantically linked with a glamorous blonde.

A magazine photo showed the former president of the United States in an intimate pose with the Canadian socialite Lisa Belzberg, 38.

They were photographed by Newsweek in front of a refrigerator at her mansion in Katonah, New York. It rekindled long-standing speculation about the pair, who have been spotted together at a number of functions over the past year.

According to the New York Post, Ms Belzberg, a millionairess separated from her husband, the Seagram alcohol heir Matthew Bronfman, about a month ago following a liaison with Mr Clinton.

“Friends were stunned to see the photo of Clinton in front of Lisa’s stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator with Jonathan Alter’s cover story on the ex-president,” the paper reported. The article claimed Mr Clinton and Ms Belzberg were involved in an encounter last month.

“She was seen flirting with Clinton at the Super Bowl party he hosted in his Harlem offices,” it added. At the time Mr Clinton joked of his relationship with Ms Belzberg: “She married a guy worth $6 billion, but she still likes to flirt with me.”

A spokeswoman for Ms Belzberg, who runs the educational organisation PENCIL , insisted that she has not been involved in another relationship since her split from Mr Bronfman. “There is no-one else,” she said bluntly.…

According to 6/12/02 Page Six of the New York Post: WHATEVER there was between Lisa Belzberg and Bill Clinton, it appears to be over. Belzberg, the brainy blonde behind the PENCIL nonprofit group that helps the public school system, was rumored to be more than friends with the former president, who lives just 10 minutes away from the mother of two in Westchester. “She's heartbroken,” said one source. But there is little chance of reconciliation with her husband, Matthew Bronfman. The Seagram heir, who split with Lisa in February, is said to be very happily dating a fashion industry executive, Stacy Kaye.

Inside Politics 6/13/02: “The New York Post reported yesterday that the relationship between former President Bill Clinton and Lisa Belzberg 'appears to be over.' If we do the math, that means that Mr. Clinton and the pretty blonde socialite lasted seven weeks. “Tabloid rumors of a romance between the two appeared around April 23, claiming the pair met at a Christmas party last year. Mr. Clinton behaved like 'a big old hound dog' and later, trysts reportedly took place in mid-afternoons on the 24th floor of New York's chichi Hudson Hotel.”

What is your political analysis? What if this reporting were announced after she had the nomination sewn up? What impact would it have? 3 points down? 5? 10?

Or maybe you think she'd get some sympathy and gain more votes?  She got elected in NY after Monica, after all.  So maybe this would have zero impact.

I was shocked when I found this out. I had assumed Bill had reformed, so as not to endanger Democratic chances to take back the White House. This is obviously the Big Clinton Story talked about on HuffPo. Why are they sitting on the story?  This was already in the NY papers and will come out eventually!

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