Posted by: Rick | Monday, April 20, 2009

“Weekly Standard” Republicans: AWOL on Healthcare (Again)

Long-term voluntary exposure to noxious fumes wafting from the posterior of George W. Bush seems to have permanently softened Fred Barnes’s brain. Nowhere in his column on the politics of healthcare is do we find any recognition that Republicans have to address the problem substantively this time.  He writes – with apparent amazement – the following sentence:

Fifteen years of one-sided discussion of soaring costs, the plight of the uninsured, and the heartlessness of insurance companies have increased demand for more and cheaper health care.

Well, yeah. That’s the issue! Call them whiners if you will, but voters want a change. What’s the GOP prepared to offer them?

The title of Barnes’s piece – “Defeat Obamacare” – contains all of its substance. The only aspect of the issue that seems to interest him is the real possibility that the private sector might not be able to compete with a government program. So what? If the insurance companies can’t cut it, they don’t deserve the business. And if Republicans want to make that the centerpiece of their opposition to a Democratic bill, then let them.

I’ve been skeptical that we could get healthcare passed this year, but continued Republican commitment to nothing would greatly increase our chances.



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