Daily Archives: November 19, 2010

Martin Wolf draws my attention to the G20 communiqué (the really honest version).

[1] WE, THE LEADERS OF THE G20, are united in our conviction that by working together we can secure a more prosperous future for the citizens of all countries.

[2] However, empty platitudes aside, if presented with an opportunity to make the citizens of our own country more prosperous at the expense of someone else’s country, 20 out of 20 of us will take it, most of the time.

There’s more…

Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Ron Wyden have a radical plan to change the health-care law that, according to Max Fisher at Atlantic Wire, could please both proponents and opponents of the reform law. I’m not sure “plan” is quite the right word, though. In section 1332(a) of the Affordable Care Act, change 2017 to 2014. That’s it.

As Politico explains, starting in 2017, Section 1332 of ACA already allows states to opt out of the individual mandate and other provisions, and lets them set up alternative arrangements of their own. These alternative schemes would receive the same amount of federal support as before, as long as they satisfied certain restrictions. The new Brown-Wyden “plan” would grant them this freedom three years earlier, in 2014, meaning that they would never have to set up a mandate-based system in the first place. The idea is simple: Let states go their own way from the outset, and we will find out what works best.

Is this “repeal and replace” or, as Ezra Klein calls it in praising the proposal, “compete and succeed”? The answer is both. Remarkable that the 2017 waiver provision attracted so little attention before. Just bringing it forward three years as good as repeals the law–as a plan for reform, even if not as a statement of goals.

Clive Crook’s blog

This blog is no longer updated but it remains open as an archive.

I have been the FT's Washington columnist since April 2007. I moved from Britain to the US in 2005 to write for the Atlantic Monthly and the National Journal after 20 years working at the Economist, most recently as deputy editor. I write mainly about the intersection of politics and economics.

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