Why I am not as happy as most Democrats about the passage of this health insurance reform bill
As Kevin Drum points out, after his initial points about David Frum being fired from the right wing think tank, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), the bill Obama just signed is a Republican bill from the standpoint of ideology and policy--back when Republicans had a semblance of interest in public policy in the early 1990s.
And of course, the health insurance mandate to buy insurance from insurance companies was something Mitt Romney pushed for and secured as governor of Massachusetts way back in....2006. Romney, of course, is Republican.
Kevin is also right about something else today. It is a good thing the government got back into the student loan business. Might as well keep the profits from loan interest inside the government rather than give the profits to private banks who had the luxury of having the loan monies they lent guaranteed by the federal government under the now discontinued program.
Still, Kevin thinks health insurance companies are going to fade away in 20 years. They might, but somehow I am not as hopeful as he is. The health insurance companies just got stronger with the Obama sponsored plan, and just as we moved further right by embracing the Republicans' counterproposal from 1993 for health insurance reform, 20 years from now we'll probably be told it is a great victory for a so-called "liberal Democrat" to embrace health savings accounts. Ew.
Finally, here is the list of things that immediately happen as a result of the new bill. It's not all phony, and some changes are decent. It's just...It's just that without a public option, there is no meaningful cost control. And I don't get how Harry Reid decided it was a good idea to put in an exemption for his staff from purchasing in the exchanges. That is beyond weird--and is in fact corrupt.
But, a win is a win in corporate media land. So, I guess that's okay...isn't it?