The health care monster isn't a plan that can be analyzed like a normal proposal. It's a congressional concoction whipped up to please the bare minimum of members tasting it. Votes, rather than anticipated results, is what this thing is clearly, and disastrously, about: Large nips here and gigantic tucks there to attract support, never mind that we're dealing, as is so often noted, with one-sixth of the U.S. economy.
Now a basic principle of politics should be care in large things, with recklessness, to the extent it enters the picture, reserved for things that can be undone, errors that invite atonement. The means of undoing Obamacare, should enough Democrats duly fall on their swords, crying, "Hail, Caesar; we who are about to die salute you!" -- the undoing, I say, or even the modification of Obamacare would be no easy thing.
There would be constitutional challenges in federal court; e.g., can the government require a freeborn American to purchase insurance? There would be some retributive scaling back after a probably early capture of the government by Republicans and Tea Partyers. Yet you don't easily repeal a law that affects assumptions and plans concerning a sixth of the economy.
The Republican call to "start over" is parodied as politics. It's not that at all. It's a reflection of the reality that on a matter so urgent as health care we should take the time to do it right, not rush it through, then utter a long sigh of political relief.
On this one, numerous moderate Democrats are right to be deathly afraid of the voters. The speaker of the House is desperately wrong not to care for anything but the shallow, transitory victory on which, for some illogical reason, she has her heart set.
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