Deficit Hawkery for Thee, But Not for Me
I was amused by this nugget in today's New York Times:
Republicans’ primary objection is the Democrats’ push for a public health insurance plan that would serve as an alternative to private coverage. Republicans say such a plan would cause the private insurance market to unravel.
There is also the potential 10-year price tag of $1 trillion or more for the overhaul, coupled with the prospect of new taxes or fees to offset the cost. And Republicans see elements of the Democratic plans as government intrusion into personal health care decision making.
So Republicans are opposed to the policy, the philosophy behind the policy, the cost and the offsets to the cost. Impressive! But it may be worth reminding people of a bit of history here. In 2003, amid a war in Iraq and a sluggish economy and all the rest, a Republican Congress and a Republican president passed the Medicare Drug Benefit. The Medicare Drug Benefit, according to the most recent estimate I've seen (which is from early 2007), is now expected to cost $964 billion over 10 years. In other words, it'll cost about a trillion over 10 years.
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