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November 16, 2009

Comments

Brendan's comments are sensible, but his penultimate sentence is a textbook example of the heavy-handed use of loaded terminology, more worthy of a political partisan than a neutral commentator. Why is it that when Democrats seek to roll back tax cuts, they're being true to their principles, whereas if Republicans seek to roll back an ill-conceived restructuring of American health care, they'd be waging "a long GOP guerrilla war to try to weaken and undermine the program"?

Try to see it this way, Brendan. For Republicans, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.

Why is it that when Democrats seek to roll back tax cuts, they're being true to their principles, whereas if Republicans seek to roll back an ill-conceived restructuring of American health care, they'd be waging "a long GOP guerilla war to try to weaken and undermine the program?"

Putting aside the "ill-conceived" editorializing (which I disagree with), that's because Democrats' attempts to roll back tax cuts have never been a long-term goal, while the Republicans' efforts to repeal the health care plan very likely will be.

Brendan's prediction seems as likely as any, although, as Rob points out, it's written from a Democrtic POV. Here's a re-statement of Brendan's four reasons for the structure from a Republican POV:

1. The Dems finagled the budgeting process to make an unaffordable plan score as affordable.

2. The implementation in 2013 will be a disaster, but voters won't know that when they re-elect Dems in 2010 and 2012.

3. The exchanges won't work. Medical care will be screwed up for years until the exchanges are straightened out or eliminated.

4. The Plan may be very expensive and provide lousy health care, but it will be a success if it helps elect Democrats.

2. The implementation in 2013 will be a disaster, but voters won't know that when they re-elect Dems in 2010 and 2012.

Here's my Democratic POV of David's Republican POV of Brendan's Democratic POV as it relates to the above: When it comes to the issue of the health care bill at issue, voters who re-elect Dems in 2010 and 2012 are uninformed idiots.

1. Deferring implementation until 2013 limits the costs of the bill under Congressional budget rules.

Bingo. Gaming the numbers is a pretty common tactic among politicians. Bush did the same thing when he put an expiration date in his tax cut plan.

Having decided that the plan must fall below (arbitrary number X) the easiest way to maximize the plan is to delay it's implementation by several years.

4. Despite the plan's bad poll numbers, Democrats want the 2012 election to be about health care (a traditionally favorable issue).

This point makes no sense to me. The 2013 phase in date guarantees that Democrats will be fighting "death panel" style accusations for the next 3 years, not to mention multi-million dollar "repeal the bill" campaigns funded by the insurance industry. They'd in a far better position defending health care coverage that millions of Americans would actually have (with slogans like "Republicans want to cancel your health care coverage - Vote Democratic").

And despite David's paraphrase, it was the conservative Democrats who pushed both the arbitrary budget number and the delayed implementation. Liberal members wanted universal coverage "on day one". Which leads to an explanation you didn't offer.

5. There are a number of Democrats in Congress who want health care reform to fail

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