Or why we should stop worrying and love ObamaCare.
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Daschle defends everything that made passage of the legislation possible, from the use of reconciliation to ram the final bill through Congress and the special deals such as the “Cornhusker kickback,” which gave Nebraska extra Medicaid money to win over Sen. Ben Nelson’s vote.
“None of these deals were pleasant to look at,” Daschle writes. “But in the pursuit of a higher goal — health care for millions of Americans — they were a price that had to be paid.”
THROUGHOUT THE BOOK, Daschle scoffs at charges that ObamaCare will lead to a government takeover of health care, and yet in all of the policy sections of the book, he eschews markets in favor of central planning. He also argues that health care reform will be an “ongoing process” with further government interventions down the road.
“Even under the new law, we will have a health care market, with generous and high-quality care for the luckiest Americans and lesser care for everyone else,” Daschle writes. “Instead of a market, we could have a smoothly functioning system, with a central decision-making authority for coverage and payment decisions.”
In the coming years, he notes, HHS will have “a heavy load of responsibilities” to implement the law and fill in details left open in the legislation. Among the questions HHS will have to answer, he writes, is “How strict should we be in limiting health plans’ profits?”
If too many people are choosing to pay the mandate tax penalty rather than purchase insurance and too many businesses are dropping coverage and dumping employees on the exchanges, Daschle argues that Congress will have to pass tougher penalties. He also sees the public option as “inevitable” and hopes that the law will be updated to cover illegal immigrants.
For all his triumphalism, though, one can sense some nervousness over the fierce backlash against the legislation.
While describing what happened in the August 2009 town hall meetings, Daschle laments that, “somehow, the energy and excitement on the pro-reform side seemed to have been lost.” And in his conclusion, he ominously reports on the drive for repeal, as well as the lawsuits launched by states challenging the constitutionality of the individual mandate.
“Even though the odds are against both efforts, they can still do real damage to the cause of reform,” Daschle writes. “By constantly suggesting to the public that the law is illegitimate, they could encourage large groups of Americans to give up on the law, or even fight it, before it has had a chance to prove itself.”
He continues, “The biggest threat to the cause of reform is no longer the decades of deadlock in Congress…Now, the danger is that the critics of reform will kill it before it ever has a chance to take hold.”
For opponents of reform, his warnings should be taken as marching orders.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?