Thursday, November 07, 2013

The Federal government and housing policy

In a column in today's New York Times, Jesse Eisinger, a reporter for ProPublica, argues that Congress is about to do to the housing market what the Affordable Care Act did to health insurance.  By that he means that rather than completely overhaul health insurance and create a single-payer "Medicare for all" system, Congress and the President accepted the political reality that you could not so completely disrupt the insurance industry and so settled on a more complex hybrid arrangement.  Eisinger asserts that there is surprising consensus in Congress that the Federal government must pull back from underwriting private home ownership, perhaps not getting completely out of the picture but certainly becoming less involved with private capital bearing more of the risk.  Eisinger disagrees with this incremental approach, arguing that the Feds would have to underwrite any collapse of the market so why not be directly and transparently involved from the start.  Here's a link to the column.

No comments: