Krauthammer gives Obama an 'exit strategy' on reform

Rick Moran
Why one would want to assist your opponent at a time like this is puzzling, but columnist Charles Krauthammer, writing in the Washington Post, sees a very viable exit strategy for Obama so that he can extricate himself from the health care reform tar baby, and even come out ahead with the American people:

(1) Forget the public option. Whatever the merits, and they are few, it is political poison. It dies by the Liasson Logic, the unassailable observation by NPR's Mara Liasson that there are no liberal Democrats who will lose their seats if the public option is left out, while there are many moderate Democrats who could lose their seats if the public option is included.

(2) Jettison any reference to end-of-life counseling. People see (correctly) such Medicare-paid advice as subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment. People don't want government involvement in a process they consider the private province of patient, family and doctor. The Senate is already dropping it. The House must follow.

(3) Soft-pedal the idea of government committees determining "best practices." President Obama's Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was sold as simply government helping doctors choose the best treatments. But there are dozens of medical journal review articles that do just that. The real purpose of such councils is ultimately to establish official criteria for denying reimbursement to less favored (because presumably less effective) treatments -- precisely the triage done by the NICE committee in Britain, the Orwellian body that once blocked access to a certain expensive anti-blindness drug until you went blind in one eye. (NICE: the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.)

Charles also recommends abandoning the cost-cutting selling point of Obamacare and imposing draconian new rules on health insurance companies while limiting their compensation - all in a new bill entirely.

I don't think Charles was thinking clearly when he penned this column. His proposals invite more government intervention later on in incremental steps - the "boiling frog" scenario. Plus, what's with this anti-free market regulation of private insurance companies. He is basically proposing to make private corporations a subsidized arm of the federal government - a public option by another name.

No Charles, you are disobeying one of the fundamental rules in politics:

Never get in the way of your opponent when they are self-destructing.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky





Why one would want to assist your opponent at a time like this is puzzling, but columnist Charles Krauthammer, writing in the Washington Post, sees a very viable exit strategy for Obama so that he can extricate himself from the health care reform tar baby, and even come out ahead with the American people:

(1) Forget the public option. Whatever the merits, and they are few, it is political poison. It dies by the Liasson Logic, the unassailable observation by NPR's Mara Liasson that there are no liberal Democrats who will lose their seats if the public option is left out, while there are many moderate Democrats who could lose their seats if the public option is included.

(2) Jettison any reference to end-of-life counseling. People see (correctly) such Medicare-paid advice as subtle encouragement to voluntarily refuse treatment. People don't want government involvement in a process they consider the private province of patient, family and doctor. The Senate is already dropping it. The House must follow.

(3) Soft-pedal the idea of government committees determining "best practices." President Obama's Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research was sold as simply government helping doctors choose the best treatments. But there are dozens of medical journal review articles that do just that. The real purpose of such councils is ultimately to establish official criteria for denying reimbursement to less favored (because presumably less effective) treatments -- precisely the triage done by the NICE committee in Britain, the Orwellian body that once blocked access to a certain expensive anti-blindness drug until you went blind in one eye. (NICE: the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.)

Charles also recommends abandoning the cost-cutting selling point of Obamacare and imposing draconian new rules on health insurance companies while limiting their compensation - all in a new bill entirely.

I don't think Charles was thinking clearly when he penned this column. His proposals invite more government intervention later on in incremental steps - the "boiling frog" scenario. Plus, what's with this anti-free market regulation of private insurance companies. He is basically proposing to make private corporations a subsidized arm of the federal government - a public option by another name.

No Charles, you are disobeying one of the fundamental rules in politics:

Never get in the way of your opponent when they are self-destructing.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky