Health Care Reform: How Bad is It?
One of the most-linked posts on Memeorandum this morning is Cornell lawprof William Jacobson‘s post explaining why he hates the health care reform bill that we’re one step closer to enacting into law.
- Yes, it is that bad. The Democrats are about to put in place the legislative, regulatory and bureaucratic infrastructure for a complete government takeover of health care. Just read the comments from the supporters and you will see a common theme — this is just the beginning. They know it, we know it, and Ben Nelson knows it but doesn’t care because he scored some pork for his home state, just like Mary Landrieu
- This is the worst of Washington. Payoffs, lies, deceit, and deception. Oddly enough, I’ve come to have more respect for the left-wing advocates of single-payer than the so-called moderates who will sell their principles for money. At least the left-wing has principles, even if I disagree with those principles. The moderates like Nelson and Landrieu have no principles, at least none that cannot be sold.
- Where is Evan Bayh? His silence has been deafening.
- How amazing is the number of circumstances which caused this perfect storm, without any one of which we wouldn’t be on Obama’s precipice: Massachusetts changes its rules for a second time to allow appointment of a Democrat in Kennedy’s place rather than having to wait for the special election; Al Franken outmaneuvers and out-litigates Norm Coleman to steal the Minnesota race; Rahm Emanuel recruits “blue dog” Democratic wolves in sheep’s clothing and people fall for it; the media covers up the Obama agenda during the campaign, portraying Obama falsely as a moderate; [added] George Allen says “Macaca,” and so on.
- Democrats do not care about the 2010 election cycle, or 2012. Obama has said it. He’d rather get his restructuring of society in place and be a one-term president, than be a two-term president and not succeed in perfecting our imperfections.
- There is a slight, slight chance this legislation can be stopped in the House, so don’t give up until the last vote is taken.
He’s hoping that the voter’s stage a “legal insurrection” by voting the “throwing out the bums who voted for it” next November and rescind Obamacare.
While I’m all for that, shouldn’t the fact that Progressives are hopping mad about the compromise give Republicans some solace? Well, more mainstream Democrats are crowing about the achievement.
Ezra Klein looks on the bright side:
This is a good bill. Not a great bill, but a good bill. Imagine telling a Democrat in the days after the 2004 election that the 2006 election would end Republican control of Congress, the 2008 election would return a Democrat to the White House, and by the 2010 election, Democrats would have passed a bill extending health-care coverage to 94 percent of Americans, securing trillions of dollars in subsidies for low-income Americans (the bill’s $900 billion cost is calculated over 10 years, but the subsidies continue indefinitely into the future), and imposing a raft of new regulations on private insurers. It is, without doubt or competition, the single largest social policy advance since the Great Society.
Jonathan Chait crows,
The United States is on the doorstep of comprehensive health care reform. It’s a staggering achievement, about which I’ll have more to say later. but the under-appreciated thing that strikes me at the moment is that it never would have happened if the Republican Party had played its cards right.
The Republicans eschewed a halfway compromise and put all their chips on an all or nothing campaign to defeat health care and Obama’s presidency. It was an audacious gamble. They lost. In the end, they’ll walk away with nothing. The Republicans may gain some more seats in 2010 by their total obstruction, but the substantive policy defeat they’ve been dealt will last for decades.
Why, even Vice President Biden is at it:
IF I were still a United States senator, I would not only vote yes on the current health care reform bill, I would do so with the sure knowledge that I was casting one of the most historic votes of my 36 years in the Senate. I would vote yes knowing that the bill represents the culmination of a struggle begun by Theodore Roosevelt nearly a century ago to make health care reform a reality.
If the bill passes the Senate this week, there will be more chances to make changes to it before it becomes law. But if the bill dies this week, there is no second chance to vote yes. What those who care about health insurance reform need to realize is that unless we get 60 votes now, there will be no health care reform at all. Not this year, not in this Congress — and maybe not for another generation.
So, the answer is that it’s pretty bad — historically bad, even — if you’re a believer in limited government and pretty good if you believe in more government control. And once the mechanisms for government to dictate the terms of insurance contracts and so forth are put in place, they’ll never go away.