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Responding to Obama's Call for Bipartisan Health Care Talks

Arnold Kling's indispensable thoughts on Obama's proposed bipartisan health care conference:

If I were a Republican, I would use any health care summit to set the following conditions for agreeing to support a bipartisan health plan.

1. All Medicare savings must be used to shore up Medicare. None of those savings can be used to fund new insurance subsidies or entitlements. Medicare is unsustainable, and it is going to need every dollar that we can save, and more. There is nothing to spare for a new entitlement.

2. Medical savings accounts must not be killed.

3. Catastrophic health insurance must not be killed or heavily disadvantaged relative to comprehensive insurance.

4. All new subsidies that enable people to purchase health insurance must be on budget, rather than through insurance company regulations that are likely to result in cost-shifting.

5. The bill must provide for at least one of the following:

a. Interstate competition in health insurance.

b. greatly reduce (preferably eliminate) the tax inequity between obtaining health insurance on your own and getting it through your employer.

As far as I am concerned, any bill that fails to satisfy all five of those points deserves opposition.

Kling might be the winner of the "prominent blogger who should really be a Republican strategist" competition.

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