Be it noted, all income groups might have to contribute at some point -- details to follow: Page 27 of the O-plan observes that "others have proposed different ideas to finance expanded health coverage," including a value-added tax. But there are no specifics on a VAT, only a quick nod to the fact that the $630 billion that Plan Obama sets aside for health care reform "is not sufficient to fully fund comprehensive reform."
The question that has baffled me: If President Obama wanted to stimulate the economy and to make health care available to all Americans, why didn't he, in concert with efforts to stabilize credit markets, make universal health care the lynchpin of his stimulus package? In one measure, Obama could have removed an obstacle to some families' financial stability, created a chain of community health clinics, and presented job and educational opportunities for would-be health care workers. And Republicans would have had a much harder time voting against it.
Instead, Obama opted for a pork-rich $787 billion monster -- with something for everyone, and only a small group asked to bankroll the free-for-all. The New Era of Responsibility has a new motto: The administration will talk about the need to live within one's means, and will continue to pass the check.