WHAT GUARANTEE? ...

WHAT GUARANTEE? Now this is weird. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial blasting Mitt Romney's health care plan for sidestepping the big problems, namely "Guaranteed Issue," a Massachusetts law that forces insurers to offer coverage to everyone, even -- get this! -- the sick. The Journal rightly notes that this creates some strange incentives, including the possibility that folks will wait until they're ill to seek coverage, a sort of peculiar strategy considering how high premiums will then be, but whatever.

What's weird about the Journals' line is that Romney's plan specifically addresses Guaranteed Issue through the individual mandate, which demands that nearly all citizens get health insurance right this minute. If insurers don't want to offer insurance (unlikely, considering that Blue Cross/Blue Shield deserves heaps of credit for formulating and passing the plan), they can pack up and leave. Now, the Journal may not like Massachusetts´┐Żs strategy, but it'd look a bit better if they displayed at least a basic familiarity with what the Bay State did.

--Ezra Klein

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