For years progressives (like me) have asked why we can’t have a health care system more like those in other countries. Well, folks, listen up — Jonathan Cohn writes,
The Netherlands and Switzerland require their residents to purchase health insurance from private carriers. Residents who do not are subject to fines. Yet most knowledgeable followers of health care policy have only good things to say about the Dutch system and mostly (though not always) good things to say about the Swiss counterpart.
The Dutch system, in particular, is widely considered among the world’s best and achieves most of the goals liberals in this country want: The insurance is universal and comprehensive, access to care is convenient and easy, the quality of medicine is high.
Cohn argues that if the public option is politically untenable, we should be pushing Congress for insurance regulations similar to the Dutch and Swiss systems. Then we might actually end up with universal health care similar to what they have in The Netherlands and Switzerland. That wouldn’t have been my first choice, but it’s a damn sight better than what we have now But the mandate is essential to that.
Cohn explains why the mandate is essential here, but see also Ezra Klein and Nate Silver. Please read Klein’s and Silver’s arguments before commenting here. I don’t have the time or energy to explain this for you.