As for proposed limits on what insurers can charge based on age or gender -- again, these schemes don't control costs; they shift costs. And cost shifting is the practice that has led to runaway health care spending in America.
With all the freebies thrown into versions of the package -- with millions of additional people covered, no denials for pre-existing conditions, free checkups and preventive procedures -- ObamaCare can only increase the nation's health care tab.
"When history calls," Snowe said to explain her vote, "history calls." Maybe, but history can be like the Delphic oracle: It doesn't always tell you what you think you hear. The more Washington pads the guaranteed benefits package, the less incentive Americans will have to look for savings in their own health care. Snowe and the Democrats may believe that their plans will cut health care costs, but history suggests that these paper savings will not materialize.