A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

National Progressives Wrestle with Individual Mandates

National Progressives Wrestle with Individual Mandates

December 7, 2007

Check out Paul Krugman's New York Times column today for a window into the growing debate on the left concerning individual health insurance mandates. In the national Democratic presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are in favor, and Barack Obama is opposed (except for children).

Paul Krugman has been one of the most articulate and reasoned writers on the left on health reform on the national scene, and a passionate advocate and backer of "single payer" -- Canadian style -- Medicare for All -- reform formulae. And he's now taking Obama to task for challenging Clinton on the mandate. And here's his comment about Massachusetts:

By the way, the limitations of the Massachusetts plan to cover all the state’s uninsured — which is actually doing much better than most reports suggest — come not from the difficulty of enforcing mandates, but from the fact that the state hasn’t yet allocated enough money for subsidies.

Don't tell that to Leslie Kirwan ... by the way, the ironies here abound in more ways than we can count. How about just one -- Gov. Deval Patrick, strong backer of MA health reform and the Individual Mandate, is backing Barack Obama.