Conservatives shocked by the political process
One of Mike Allen's "favorite conservatives" e-mails: "Think of any particular Republican favorite item. Imagine that it passed with a single Dem vote and affected 16% of the GDP. Then imagine Delay, Frist and Dick Cheney meeting in secret to hash out differences. Now, consider the firestorm of press outrage.”
This comment is notable for the fact that none of the three sentences actually makes any sense. For one thing, this idea that the health-care bill affects "16% of GDP" is inane. That 16% of GDP captures people in private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and assorted other arrangements purchasing medical care. This bill will not stop them from purchasing medical care nor will it change the way they purchase medical care nor is it likely to change how much medical care they purchase.
To put this even more clearly, in 2008, the country spent $2.3 trillion on health care. In 2016 -- so, after implementation -- this bill will spend about $150 billion helping people buy health care. Assume that national spending that year will be about $3 trillion, then the health bill is accounting for about 5 percent of our spending that year. The idea that this bill, which is going to cost fairly little in the scheme of things and do virtually nothing to people who are already insured, is somehow transforming the provision of 16 percent of GDP is misleading at best.
As for the other sentences, if Allen's correspondent doesn't believe that Republican congressional leadership met with the White House to settle on the final versions of their bills, then I really don't know why Allen is publishing his commentary. As for the resulting press outrage, people really need to read up on the process that led to Medicare Part D before talking about what the political establishment will and will not tolerate.
Photo credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP.
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