Weighing in on the side of progressives who believe the Senate health care bill should pass, Paul Krugman admonishes his political cousins to “take a deep breath, and consider just how much good this bill would do, if passed — and how much better it would be than anything that seemed possible just a few years ago.”
I rarely read Krugman. He too often breathlessly demands more government action. And while my conservative heritage has softened (some might say dissolved) during the last several years, I’m still multiple degrees to Krugman’s right. That being said, the NYT columnist appears to be well regarded among those of his political ilk. Will he sway them on this matter? Or will the siren call of Howard Dean’s tirade carry the day?
Like it or not, we’ll soon find out.
ADDENDUM: Krugman’s colleague, David Brooks, tackles the same subject in today’s NYT, reaching (no surprise) a different conclusion:
If I were a senator forced to vote today, I’d vote no. If you pass a health care bill without systemic incentives reform, you set up a political vortex in which the few good parts of the bill will get stripped out and the expensive and wasteful parts will be entrenched.
Defenders say we can’t do real reform because the politics won’t allow it. The truth is the reverse. Unless you get the fundamental incentives right, the politics will be terrible forever and ever.
In reaching that conclusion, Brooks applies his characteristic thoughtfulness, and while that trait often compels me to agree with him, I sincerely hope that — in this particular case — he’s wrong; that the four reasons he lists to support the bill trump the six reasons he lists to oppose it.