Princeton economist Paul Krugman, writing in today's New York Times, says Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) health care proposal has "a lot to commend" but "not as comprehensive as [he] would have liked:"
You can’t be serious about health care without proposing an injection of federal funds to help lower-income families pay for insurance, and that means advocating some kind of tax increase. Well, Mr. Obama is now on record calling for a partial rollback of the Bush tax cuts.
Also, in the Obama plan, insurance companies won’t be allowed to deny people coverage or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. Again, points for toughness.
Best of all, the Obama plan contains the same feature that makes the Edwards plan superior to, say, the Schwarzenegger proposal in California: it lets people choose between private plans and buying into a Medicare-type plan offered by the government.
Now for the bad news. Although Mr. Obama says he has a plan for universal health care, he actually doesn’t — a point Mr. Edwards made in last night’s debate. The Obama plan doesn’t mandate insurance for adults. So some people would take their chances — and then end up receiving treatment at other people’s expense when they ended up in emergency rooms. In that regard it’s actually weaker than the Schwarzenegger plan.
From Bruce Schnier: "At least they're honest about it this time."
I nearly forgot: Today is the 40th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The Atlantic hurricane season began last night at midnight UTC (7pm CT), and already we have our first named storm: Tropical Storm Barry, about 100km off Key West in the Gulf of Mexico:
AT 5 PM EDT...2100 UTC... A TROPICAL STORM WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR THE WEST COAST OF FLORIDA FROM BONITA BEACH NORTHWARD TO KEATON BEACH...AND A TROPICAL STORM WATCH HAS BEEN ISSUED FROM NORTH OF KEATON BEACH TO ST. MARKS. A TROPICAL STORM WARNING MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED WITHIN THE WARNING AREA WITHIN THE NEXT 24 HOURS AND A TROPICAL STORM WATCH MEANS THAT TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS ARE POSSIBLE WITHIN THE WATCH AREA...GENERALLY WITHIN 36 HOURS.
The NHC expects Barry to trundle up the Gulf Coast of Florida, cross over near Jacksonville, and then rumble over all the Atlantic beaches from there to the Outer Banks before going away. Have fun!