Krugman Explains Health-Care Reform in Two Sentences

I thought I had done a pretty good job when I pared health-care reform down to about 400 words. Turns out, Paul Krugman over at The New York Times has done me one better and explained it in two sentences. His column today, which looks at the case for health-care reform made by premium hikes in California, has one of the best and most concise explanations that I have seen. By way of background, Krugman starts from a point that Democrats, Republicans, and the White House all tend to agree on: we should bar insurers from discriminating against those with preexisting conditions.

By all means, let's ban discrimination on the basis of medical history—but we also have to keep healthy people in the risk pool, which means requiring that people purchase insurance. This, in turn, requires substantial aid to lower-income Americans so that they can afford coverage.

And this, Krugman goes on to explain, looks "very much like the health reform bills that have already passed both the House and the Senate." In two sentences, I think, he succinctly gets at the heart of what health-care reform does, particularly in explaining why banning discrimination against preexisting conditions (a pretty popular position) begets an individual mandate begets subsidies (less popular positions). Point to the Nobel Prize winner on this one.