Obamacare, Hypocrisy and the GOP

By Arnold Kling

Robert J. Samuelson accuses the Obama Administration of reinforcing the status quo on health care reform. Although Obama argues that the status quo is unsustainable because of the future path of health care spending, the proposals in Congress tend to add to the spending problem rather than solve it.

Samuelson is correct that Obama is being hypocritical. However, by the same token, the Republican opposition is even more hypocritical.

The Republicans are not beating up on Obama for reinforcing the status quo. On the contrary, their tactic is to portray the Obama plan as something that is radical and threatening. Maybe that message helps them politically. But it undermines any possibility of a real debate about which direction to take in health care policy.

I would like to see a debate between reforms that free up health care market and policies that entrench the status quo. The fact that the Republicans are not engaging in that debate is just one more reason for believers in markets to view Republicans as unreliable allies.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2009/08/obamacare-hypocrisy-and-the-gop/22984/