Friday, August 28, 2009

The scary compromise

Charles Krauthammer lays out a compromise health care plan that could pass through Congress. It would throw out the elements disliked by many at the townhall meetings such as the public option and end-of-life counseling. He would downplay Obama's council on comparative effectiveness research on the grounds that there are lots of academic journals doing the same thing. It would stop pretending that this is an effort to cut costs since no one believes that. Finally, it would address what people are really worried about by forbidding insurance companies from denying coverage for preexisting conditions or from dropping holders when they get sick. And it would cap compensation for insurance company executives. Government would subsidize the poor who can't afford coverage. The only catch would be mandating coverage for everyone, including the healthy young.

So it all sounds easy and beautiful right? It solves the problems people are worried about and it's still done through private companies so conservatives will sign on. Is this the solution? Not at all. It would be an insidious foot inside the door.
Isn't there a catch? Of course there is. This scheme is the ultimate bait-and-switch. The pleasure comes now, the pain later. Government-subsidized universal and virtually unlimited coverage will vastly compound already out-of-control government spending on health care. The financial and budgetary consequences will be catastrophic.

However, they will not appear immediately. And when they do, the only solution will be rationing. That's when the liberals will give the FCCCER regulatory power and give you end-of-life counseling.

But by then, resistance will be feeble. Why? Because at that point the only remaining option will be to give up the benefits we will have become accustomed to. Once granted, guaranteed universal health care is not relinquished. Look at Canada. Look at Britain. They got hooked; now they ration. So will we.
All the benefits are up front; it's in the long-term that we would get all the problems that people are predicting today for Obamacare. In the short-term, which is all most politicians care about anyway, it seems like a real breakthrough compromise. It could easily pass both houses and get signed by the President. And then there would be no turning back. That's what is scary about it.