“Is this the end for Harry and Louise?” said Paul Krugman in The New York Times. The fictional TV ad couple, created by the health-insurance industry, helped sink President Clinton’s health-care plan in 1993. Now, the “medical-industrial complex” is playing nice with President Obama, offering to trim costs and endorsing many of his health economics ideas. This might be a “Trojan horse” offer, but it’s still “tremendously good news.”
Slowing cost hikes by $2 trillion over 10 years sounds good, said Tom Linkmark in Seeking Alpha, but the proposals to do so are vague, and each of the interest groups—insurers, hospitals, drugmakers, doctors—has competing goals. Since they can’t beat Obama with a “frontal assault,” as with their “Hillary Care” win, they’re probably trying to “bend” the upcoming changes to their favor.
But that’s the big news: They’re playing ball, said Marc Ambinder in The Atlantic. The “dealmaking” with the major health-care stakeholders, including unions and corporations—all of which are meeting with Obama Monday—means simply this: “The White House is gonna get health-care reform, this year.”
Not so fast, said The Wall Street Journal in an editorial. The Democrats control Congress, but they’re desperate for a “veneer of bipartisanship” before enacting this back-door path to a single-payer government health monopoly. The two or three “credulous Republicans” wooed by the Democrats need to resist—this fight determines if Republicans “still stand for anything at all.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- After Ferguson: Stop deferring to the cops
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Ferguson riots were terrible — but this racist reaction was worse
- Is it now OK to have sex with animals?
- The hilarious hypocrisy of Republicans complaining about the imperial presidency
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Don't argue about politics this Thanksgiving. Just don't.
- In Ferguson, Michael Brown lost his life — and America's police lost the benefit of the doubt
- Hey, scolds: Stop telling us to enjoy a healthy Thanksgiving
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