Here is a critical element of the Obama speech. Aside from waste, fraud and abuse:
Much of the rest would be paid for with revenues from the very same drug and insurance companies that stand to benefit from tens of millions of new customers.
And this reform will charge insurance companies a fee for their most expensive policies, which will encourage them to provide greater value for the money — an idea which has the support of Democratic and Republican experts. And according to these same experts, this modest change could help hold down the cost of health care for all of us in the long run.
So how should this carefully phrased passage be interpreted? Will PPO policies subsidize HMO policies? Will those with pre-existing conditions subsidize those without? It is time to focus on these and related issues, and bring the hidden assumptions into view.