Wednesday, March 10, 2010


David Cutler – the Democratically-oriented expert on the healthcare bill lists the 10 ways that it can save money:

Over the past year of debate, 10 broad ideas have been offered for bending the health-care cost curve. The Democrats' proposed legislation incorporates virtually every one of them.

Why is reform viewed so negatively? In part, it may reflect the perfect being the enemy of the good. …

Reform is also viewed negatively because official scorekeepers do not believe anything on this …

Of course, no one knows precisely how much medical spending increases will moderate. But one cannot doubt the commitment to try. What is on the table is the most significant action on medical spending ever proposed in the United States. Should we really walk away from that?

David Brooks – a political columnist at The New York Times, and a conservative one at that, on all the (7 !!!)fudges that went into it.

The Democrats have not been completely irresponsible. It’s just that as the health fight has gone on, their passion for coverage has swamped their less visceral commitment to reducing debt. The result is a bill that is fundamentally imbalanced.

David Leonhardt, an economic columnist at The New York Times, and of a liberal disposition, opines that we may as well run with this because the alternative is worse.

I see only two good options for anyone who wants to be fiscally conservative.

The first is to say we cannot afford to cover the uninsured. …

The second option is to say that expanding insurance would bring enormous benefits.

Megan McArdle, a sometimes progressive, always libertarian columnist at The Atlantic thinks the whole issue has too much levity:

… Why can't fiscal conservatives say that if we want to have the entitlement, we should first make sure the cuts we're proposing work?  Why can't they say that we can't afford this particular expansion, and that it's time to go back to the drawing board?  "The fierce urgency of now" is obviously totally compelling to those who think nothing can go wrong, but for the rest of us, it's not a good reason to commit ourselves to a very risky course of action.

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