This was an interesting article. Somehow, it seems to miss something, and that is the resentment felt by some progressives about the HC bill that was passed. The basis for that resentment is at least twofold. First, the package will end up costing far more (insurance plus premiums) than the smoke-and-mirrors estimates made by the CBO. Second, the individual mandate coerces people into buying health insurance at high, for-profit, prices. Both of these problems would have disappeared with a single-payer approach that many progressives preferred. Aziz Huq seemed surprised by the poll showing 49 percent support for the lawsuits, but maybe it has something to do with these resentments.
I consider myself very liberal, yet the HC plan that passed leaves a bad taste in my mouth. We will never know if a single-payer plan might have gotten passed, because it was never promoted by party leaders, who seemed all too willing to cave in to the health insurance industry, among others. A lot of time was wasted in getting zero bipartisan support, and reconciliation was used in the end to jam the bill through. What might have happened if Obama and more of the party leadership had pressed for single-payer with reconciliation in mind from the beginning?
I'm not all sour grapes, because the bill, as Dennis Kucinich had to recognize in the end, is better than nothing. This will, however, cost us a lot of money in the end, just like our mindless wars and costly income tax system, all of which we can ill afford when we need to blend progressivism with a strong dose of fiscal responsibility. Such wasteful expenditures contribute to our demise in the face of international competition, including many countries with single-payer types of universal (100 percent) healthcare.
Apr 1 2010 - 6:25pm