Discussing the Daschle withdrawal, the L.A. Times tells us:
John J. Castellani, who heads the influential Business Roundtable, said over the last month his group has actually been working more closely with members of Congress than with the new administration
That effort builds on the emerging consensus that the federal government must act decisively to help cover the roughly 46 million people in America who lack health insurance.
Lawmakers and interest groups also agree that Washington must take aggressive steps to bring down costs and reward quality care.
Hmmm. There is an “emerging consensus” that the government must act decisively to cover the uninsured? I’m quite sure there is at the water cooler in the L.A. Times newsroom. I’m sure that, for the well-heeled liberals sipping their lattes in the paper’s cafeteria (is that sucker still open?), the consensus emerged long ago.
I’ll grant you that nobody thinks it’s a good thing to have over 45 million uninsured people. But there’s something short of a “consensus” — whether “emerging” or otherwise — about precisely what we should do about it.
As one data point, note that the S-CHIP legislation was recently passed in the Senate — but it happened on a party-line vote. Republicans are very suspicious of anything that looks like a movement toward a single-payer system, and tend to seek solutions via some combination of the free market and tax policy. Does that count as the federal government acting decisively to help cover the uninsured? Would the L.A. Times agree?
If I’m wrong about this “emerging consensus,” please tell me in the comments. But I don’t think I am.
When Obama’s health care proposals actually come up for debate, I’ll be reminding you about the “emerging consensus” the L.A. Times is telling us about today. I think we’ll all have a good laugh.