Sunday, March 7, 2010

Up or down, yes or no.

A little mini-rant. President Obama has called for an up-or-down, yes-or-no vote on health care reform. Either reject or accept.

The Republicans have been insisting instead that we start all over again, which is an entirely disingenuous proposition — i.e., bull$hit. The GOP should be honest that, at heart, they and their corporate sponsors don't want major reform at all, and the tactics they are using are not so that we will go back to the drawing board and forge some new plan, but so that the reform drive will be dead in the water, just like back in the mid-1990s.

Almost all of the sound economic principles behind health reform — with the single exception of tort reform — run counter to stated Republican principles of smaller government, deregulation, and freedom of choice (at least as far as choosing to be insured or not).

Expanding the pool of covered people to an entire population, for example, is such a basic concept of insurance and health economics that it boggles the mind that the supposedly economically savvy GOP doesn't grasp that. That the expansion of "competition" in health insurance becomes a way for health insurance companies to cherry-pick the healthy out of the population, leaving the government to insure the most likely to run up bills, is another.

I'm not saying they are wrong for being opposed to Obama's plan; I'm saying they should just be honest that they are trying to kill (not renegotiate from scratch) all but a few points of health care reform.

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