Over at the Washington Post this week, it’s back to health care reform, and our topic is fairness. Specifically, somebody has to pay if we’re going to have near-universal coverage. Do you think it should be the people who benefit immediately (the uninsured middle class*) or do you think the payment mechanism should have nothing to do with the beneficiaries (like Medicare and, to an extent, Social Security)? I think this comes down to two concepts of what government programs are for. If the former, you probably want low (or zero) subsidies; if the latter, you probably want to tax the rich, tax gasoline, auction off emission permits, or something like that.
By James Kwak