What would it mean if conservatives “win” the healthcare fight?
That’s the question being asked by David Frum, a former speechwriter for George H.W. Bush, and in a recent post on newmajority.com, Frum opines that a “win” in the current health care fight really wouldn’t be a victory:
For some, the answer is obvious: beat back the president’s proposals, defeat the House bill, stand back and wait for 1994 to repeat itself.
The problem is that if we do that… we’ll still have the present healthcare system. Meaning that we’ll have (1) flat-lining wages, (2) exploding Medicaid and Medicare costs and thus immense pressure for future tax increases, (3) small businesses and self-employed individuals priced out of the insurance market, and (4) a lot of uninsured or underinsured people imposing costs on hospitals and local governments.
We’ll have entrenched and perpetuated some of the most irrational features of a hugely costly and under-performing system, at the expense of entrepreneurs and risk-takers, exactly the people the Republican party exists to champion.
Not a good outcome.
If we win, we’ll trumpet the success as a great triumph for liberty and individualism. Really though it will be a triumph for inertia. To the extent that anybody in the conservative world still aspires to any kind of future reform and improvement of America’s ossified government, that should be a very ashy victory indeed.
If Republicans do prevail in the current fight over health care reform without offering a real health care reform plan of their own, they’ll no doubt suffer some serious backlash.
H/T to Michael Mathias.