Although I had thought it was dead, the Democrats this week managed to pass their health care reform package.
I don't like the bills as they basically establish a massive new welfare entitlement program. I don't like welfare in general and this is a particularly inefficient form of welfare as most of the benefit will accrue to the health care industry rather than to the poor, who given a choice would largely spend the money on other things. In my view the main problems with health care in the US are that it costs too much and that it is over utilized. The bills will make both of these problems worse.
Some Republicans have been whining about the process by which the bill was passed which seems silly to me, given that the Democrats have significant majorities in the Senate and House and control of the White House, it is reasonable that they should be able to pass this package, wrongheaded as it may be. And one should remember it was the Republicans disastrous performance when they were in control which directly led to the current Democratic majorities.
Also much of the Republican opposition seemed off point to me. If you accept that no American should ever be denied any health care treatment because of cost it is hard to construct a plan that doesn't have most of the problems of the Democrat's package. Hence Romney's embarrassment over the fact that the program he helped establish as Governor of Massachusetts was not all that different. I don't accept the above principle but this doesn't appear to be a position that politicians are willing to argue.
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