On bloggingheads , Bob Wright and I have a full and frank discussion of "curve-bending," rationing, "death panels," etc., and whether the health reform bills are objectionable on those grounds. I was in control at all times , I swear. ...
Have I mentioned that the point isn't that I'm right or Bob's right-- the point is that this is an entire debate we didn't need to have right now. Obama could have proposed a bill that expanded coverage and raised taxes to pay for it. True, that would have pissed off voters who really don't like tax increases. Instead, he proposed raising taxes and instituting some ominously vague, to-be-determined, 'scientific' and anti-democratic restraints on health care treatments. This successfully pissed off voters who really don't like tax increases and voters--mainly older voters--worried about being denied treatments. The combination of losing the anti-government voters and losing seniors may prove fatal . ...
If it does, it won't be David Axelrod's fault
, and it won't be Rahm Emanuel's fault
. It won't even be Peter Orszag's fault
. It's Obama's fault. Obama's the one who fell for Orszag's Laffer-curve-like
, win-win, 'this will save
money' line, and who raised the issue at every opportunity in the middle of 2009. It's Obama who became infatuated with--and ordered his staff to read--Atul Gawande's amorphous
curve-bending argument and Ron Brownstein's
-at-the-time cheerleading piece
. It was Obama who eagerly let himself get suckered into discussing end-of-life rationing in the pages of the
New York Times
What do presidents do when they should fire themselves? They fire their advisers and bring in a new crew. That's what may happen here. I'd guess we're about 36 hours away from a Beltway call for "wise men." ... If it wasn't for his role in the Massachusetts Senate debate, I'd say we're a week away from David Gergen's touchdown at Reagan National. ... 10:22 P.M.