First, congratulations to all those to whom this victory means so much. This debate has been marked by such rancor, that I encourage all who are now crestfallen to take a deep breath. Reach out to your opponents. Remind yourself that they are good people, that they come to this debate with good intentions. You’ll feel better about yourself. Also, if you hold on to rancor, you’ll be worse than useless to the rest of us.
Grant this: The good news is that this legislation would provide medical care to many who otherwise could not purchase it. The bad news far outweighs the good, but let’s be clear-eyed about both.
The bad part of the bad news is that this legislation would nevertheless inhibit our nation’s ability to meet the basic human needs of its citizens. It would deny needed medical care to millions, even as it causes health-care costs to rise. It would sap individual initiative, destroy jobs, trap the poor in poverty and dependence, block innovations that would make us healthier and wealthier, and politicize matters that should not be politicized.
The good part of the bad news is that most of these provisions do not take effect for almost four years. That leaves time to educate the public and, hopefully, time to repeal them.
– Michael F. Cannon is director of health-policy studies at the Cato Institute.