Congress, it’s now clear, is crafting two quite different kinds of health-care reform. And the day that President Obama has to choose between them grows near.
Three committees have reported out bills plainly to Obama’s liking. These committees — two in the House, one in the Senate, and all controlled by progressive Democrats who support the president’s objectives — have backed mandates on individuals to get insurance and created generous subsidies to make that insurance affordable. They have backed mandates on employers (all but the smallest) to provide insurance or pay into a pool to fund those subsidies. And they have created a public plan, both to compete with private plans and to bring down the cost of health care more generally.