I do not know too much about the health care reform bill other than the basic outline of what it will do, what it will cost, and what it is projected to save. And as much as I am critical of those in Congress and the popular media who opposed it merely because Obama was for it, I am not much better, because at the end of the day I really just supported it because I support him.
But having said that, it seems clear to me that reasonable/smart people support this bill (albeit tepidly), and crazy people oppose it. I think that might be a good enough reason to support it.
Compare Rick Santorum (lunatic conservative ideologue):
This legislation will indeed be historic in its destructive effect if it is not repealed or substantially altered. This bill will devastate our economy and its ability to create jobs and a higher standard of living; government spending and debt will explode; health care quality and choices for most Americans will suffer; and millions more innocent children in the womb will be killed. Worse still, to avoid bankrupting the country, care will be rationed so only those “useful lives” will be given the care they need.
This day will go down as either the day that America turned its back on our unique system of democratic capitalism or the day that ignited a firestorm to reclaim the vision that has made our country the greatest in the history of the world. Today is owned by those who believe that an all powerful federal government is the future of our republic, tomorrow freedom-loving patriots will begin the fight against this tyranny to reclaim our birthright. (emphasis added).
With The Economist (fiscally conservate, socially moderare newspaper) (excerpted a bit so that Open Bar will read it):
IT WILL cost close to a trillion dollars over the next ten years, a vast sum of money at any time and a heart-stopping prospect when America’s budget deficit is gobbling up nearly 11% of GDP and unemployment seems stuck at close to 10%. It takes only tentative steps towards controlling the relentless above-inflation rise in health-care costs that has gone on for decades, squeezing corporate and personal budgets alike and threatening, if unchecked, to overwhelm the federal budget entirely. [. . . ].
[But t]his poor bill is still better than no bill at all for two reasons. The first has to do with coverage. This newspaper loathes needless government intervention. But it also thinks that it is wrong for a country as rich as America to have tens of millions of people without health insurance. . . . The health-reform plan represents the last chance, perhaps for decades, of erasing one of the least creditable differences between America and the rest of the industrialised world. If this president, who came into office with solid congressional majorities and stratospheric ratings fails, neither he nor his successors will dare touch health care for many years to come; and that would be a tragedy.
The second somewhat paradoxical reason is that this bill will have to be improved on after it is passed—especially when it comes to costs. . . . .The current bill chips away at all of these problems. Gold-plated insurance policies will in effect lose their tax-exempt status, though not for a while, and not in full. An independent presidential commission will have some power to force down the rates paid to medical-service providers—though, insanely, hospitals are exempted. Tiny steps in the direction of tort reform are also provided for. [. . . ]
Some health-reform purists will scoff at such incrementalism. They argue that it would be better to do nothing now, wait for an old-fashioned fiscal crisis to force the issue, and then start again. That is an alternative we think most Americans would rather not experience. Mr Obama’s bill does a morally desirable thing in expanding health coverage, and it does a bit on costs. That is, on balance, enough for it to deserve to pass. (emphasis added).
'nuff said. Suck it, tea party.
UPDATE:I hope I'm not overstepping here, but I reversed the order of this post and the one underneath it because it just seems obvious that this one should be above the fold. Love, ChuckJerry
UPDATE 2: Chuck had a far, far better title for the post, which has now been changed. Also, please, please, please read this short essay by David Frum. He is a Republican commentator/strategist who seems to hate the radical wing of his party even more than we do. His point is that Republicans didn't stand on principle, they stood on strategy. They decided this was going to be Obama's waterloo; instead, it may be their own. Or, as Frum himself puts it, "We followed the most radical voices in the party and the movement, and they led us to abject and irreversible defeat."