Ezra Klein gets it right: John McCain’s proposal to wreck the employment-based health insurance market would leave us with “health insurance for people who don’t need health care.” Jonathan Cohen has the gritty details. Short version: without employer-based pool or a national system, there’s no way to give decent health insurance to those with expensive diseases, and McCain doesn’t even plan to try.
Not only is this pure madness substantively, it ought to be rotten politics. But that depends on having a candidate who can take an opponent’s lousy policy idea and show the voters how and why it’s lousy policy. I’m confident that the candidate who is now making Hillary Clinton wish she’d never thought about trying to bamboozle the public on the gas tax holiday will do an equally good job on McCainCare in the general election.