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Health Care and the Banking Crisis: Two Opposite Mandates

Between the two, the banking crisis is RELATIVELY easy to fix. It basically consists of a few don'ts. Don't trade derivatives greater than the notional value of the consideration. Don't make subprime loans that the original borrower (as opposed to a later buyer can't pay. Don't hide terms of the contract in the fine print.

The health care mandate is a harder one. DO buy more health insurance. And for the companies, DO insure more people. And DO more paperwork to make it happen. "You can lead a horse to water...."

Yet Obama is trying to tackle the harder, and less urgent of the two problems. Why is that? Probably because he (and Congress) thinks that "the people" are the more tractable of the two constituencies.

He's wrong. Ultimately, the government exists to serve the people. Ditto for the banks. The people can stop one of the other by "going on strike." And maybe they ought to.