Weak, Weak, Weak

The president and the Democrats can not and must not settle for a lesser bill. But some members of Congress are floating the idea:

The consensus measure would be less ambitious than the bills approved last year. It would extend insurance coverage to perhaps 12 million to 15 million people — and provide political cover to Democrats, who said they could not simply drop the issue after spending so much time and effort on it.

Unacceptable. Now is the time to fight back -- not to concede.

More details:

--Insurers could not deny coverage to children under the age of 19 on account of pre-existing medical conditions.

--Insurers would have to offer policyholders an opportunity to continue coverage for children through age 25 or 26.

--The federal government would offer financial incentives to states to expand Medicaid to cover childless adults and parents.

--The federal government would offer grants to states to establish regulated markets known as insurance exchanges, where consumers and small businesses could buy coverage.

--The federal government would offer tax credits to small businesses to help them defray the cost of providing health benefits to workers.

--If a health plan provided care through a network of doctors and hospitals, it could not charge patients more for going outside the network in an emergency. Co-payments for emergency care would have to be the same, regardless of whether a hospital was in the insurer’s network of preferred providers.

No sir. I don't like it. And it's not because of the specific "reforms." Out of the present context, they might be okay. It's the fact that the Democrats would gladly settle for such a weakened compromise, given what's already happened. To the House progressives: is this "consensus" crap on a stick somehow better than the Senate bill? Dumb question. I'm asking lawmakers who think no bill at all is better than the Senate bill. Both options are weak.