From the Editors

It's about health insurance, not Obamacare

Forget 2010. The baseline is now.

Many liberals favor single-payer health insurance. It’s the most direct path to expanding coverage, and by setting prices centrally it would bring down costs. If the starting point is the premise that basic health care is a right, this is the most straightforward approach.

Many conservatives would prefer to guarantee coverage for catastrophic health problems only, leaving day-to-day care up to a free market of sellers and buyers. Here the priority is a less regulated system and the innovation it can foster. It’s a straightforward approach if the starting point is that health care is a consumer good, not a right.

Each of these is a coherent public policy vision, with clear tradeoffs. Neither has much to do with Obamacare—or with the recent GOP effort to roll it back.