I have a minor quibble with the usually excellent Drew M. over at Ace of Spades. If a Republican candidate is a bit iffy on using the word “repeal” in dealing with the health-care bill, I’m not going to get too upset about it.
I suspect that the health-care bill will end up achieving very little in terms of its stated goals and will have far-reaching and intensely deleterious unintended consequences. As noted in one of the Jolts, this bill won’t help with the deficit, will raise premiums instead of lower them, will louse up already functioning coverage plans, and will interfere with doctors.
But just as a blind squirrel can occasionally discover the popular appeal of offshore drilling, there might be something worthwhile in this legislation. Perhaps the American people will decide banning restrictions on coverage because of pre-existing conditions is worth higher premiums. Perhaps the “doughnut hole” in the prescription-drug coverage had to be fixed. Perhaps parents ought to have the option of having their adult kids on their health-care plan if they’re willing to pay the adjusted premium.
We know this legislation is not getting repealed or even seriously overhauled before January 2013, unless the Republicans win veto-proof majorities in the House and Senate, a supremely unlikely scenario. The only chance to stop this from taking effect is a Republican House, a Republican Senate, and a Republican president’s election in 2012. By then, we will know a lot more about this legislation’s real-world effects, and whether there’s any part worth keeping.
Right now, every Republican is aiming in the same direction: The health-care legislation is bad for patients, bad for doctors, bad for employers, bad for the deficit, and fabulous for IRS employees who would like some new coworkers. If some Republican wants to avoid the word “repeal” and talk about serious, sweeping overhauls instead, I think it’s sufficient.