Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Conservative Case for the Affordable Care Act, Part III - Ezra Klein - The Washington Post

By Ezra Klein

Reihan Salam is tired of having to rebut the claim that the consistent thing for conservative supporters of subsidized-insurance exchanges for the over-65 set to do would be to support — or at least admit the potential viability of — subsidized exchanges for the under-65 set, which is a model better known as the Affordable Care Act.

But moving on from it is easier said than done. The policy Reihan is trying to defend — the Ryan-Rivlin bill (pdf) — appears to mimic the Affordable Care Act. One of its two namesakes, Alice Rivlin, believes that it mimics the Affordable Care Act and has said so on-the-record. Its other sponsor, Paul Ryan, says he disagrees, but he can’t explain why. When asked, he said, “how I would do exchanges are very different than how Alice wants to do exchanges.” He didn’t go into further detail. I subsequently asked Ryan’s staff if Ryan would like to do an interview explaining how his exchanges would differ. The request was declined. I then asked his staff if they could explain to me how Ryan’s exchanges differ. They didn’t respond.
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