The GOP health care plan is a dog’s breakfast but it's still better than the status quo

One of ObamaCare’s best features was that it reserved its visible subsidies for the needy, unlike, say, Medicare or the regressive tax benefit for employer-provided insurance.

The GOP plan maintains this principle but will revert to refundable tax credits scaled to age and income. These credits presumably won’t be—and won’t need to be—as generous as the subsidies required to induce people to buy grossly overpriced ObamaCare policies. Still, look for liberals to hunt up many a sad example of an existing ObamaCare customer who would rationally choose to go uninsured under GOP care.

That’s because many hidden subsidies are also programmed into ObamaCare. The young subsidize the old, singles subsidize families, men subsidize women, those who go to the doctor only when sick subsidize those who consume lots of elective or preventive care.

We can do President Obama the service of stating his position more fairly than he did his opponents’. He favors a vision of health insurance which is not insurance, i.e., not pooling against major risk. Insurance should cover routine care, preventive care, even elective care—a woman’s birth control should be covered. Anything less, he said, is “house insurance”—it covers you only against extreme costs that might force you to mortgage your house.