This is not about philosophical differences

I was listening to a health care round-table on Diane Rehm today and it was just so frustrating to hear mainstream journalists, like NPR's Julie Rovner, who knows her health care give the mindlessly "objective" take on things.  The old, oh, there's just important philosophical difference between the parties.  Damn, if only that were true.  For anybody closely following this "debate," as Rovner definitely has been, it is crystal clear that Republicans are bent on defeating health care reform at all costs.  Rovner repeated the facile line that Republicans were all about cost control and were only not coming onboard because the bill doesn't really care about it.  Arrgghhh!!  That was the sound of me yelling in my car on the way to work today.  If the Republicans really cared about cost control, would they have been completely demagoguing every proposed cut to Medicare as if it was going to lead to Grandma dying from lack of care?  A huge portion of the savings and greater efficiency comes from trying to make Medicare work smarter, but Republicans have just been shouting and dissembling on the issue.  Likewise, most economists agree that the best approach for cost control is the excise tax on health benefits, of which the Senate plan has a scaled-down version.  And where were the Republican votes for that?  Look, Republicans simply want to defeat health care reform in any form, why can't the damn media just be honest about that.  If Republicans really wanted their supposedly better Republican reforms, they had 6 years of majority control under George W. Bush to get them done.  There's just no credible argument that Congressional Republicans are at all serious about health care reform.  


About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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