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September 10, 2009
Kristol: 'The real public option; start over'
Bill Kristol has a great piece at his blog on WaPo where he calls out Obama for not doing what a plurality of Americans want him to do; scrap the current reform fiasco and start over:
He said, "I am not the first president to take up this cause, but I am determined to be the last." This suggests how grandiloquent his self-understanding is. After all, even if he were to prevail with some form of his legislation, others would come along with further and other reforms. Obama really isn't our last, best hope for public policy changes in this area -- or in any other.
And the American public isn't buying it. A poll released today shows that 49 percent of Americans oppose "the health care reform plans being discussed in Congress," while only 34 percent approve; 36 percent "strongly" oppose the plans while only 16 percent "strongly" support them. Furthermore, when asked what the president and Congress should now do about health care, 42 percent choose "scrap the current negotiations and start over from scratch" and 18 percent say leave our current health care alone -- with only 39 percent saying they should keep working to pass something "by the end of the year." So 60 percent prefer starting over or doing nothing to an Obama-style plan.
The real "public option" is to scrap the current grandiose plans and to start over. There is no health care crisis, and doing no harm is far preferable to doing real damage to a good health care system.
At the very least, something should be done about rising Medicare costs that in a few years will bankrupt us. But none - repeat, none - of the Democratic bills come close to addressing anything but a tiny percentage of the problem. Where trillions of savings are necessary, we get at most, a few tens of billions over the next decade. That simply isn't good enough and all the other provisions in the Democratic bills relating to the uninsured and insurance companies are a drop in the bucket compared to what is coming down the road unless we can get a handle on Medicare costs.
So yes, tear it all up and start over. Not that it would happen. The left is bound and determined to get government run health insurance, realizing full well that it would be an important and necessary first step to a single payer plan. And that is what this "reform" is all about now, and what's it's always been about; government control of one sixth of the American economy and an intrusion into the most intimate and private sectors of our lives never before attempted.