Financial Reform--Soon to Become the Next Health Care Reform?

Please, not again

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The New York Times' David Herszenhorn and Sewell Chan say the financial reform fight is already "echoing" the epic battle over health care. Senator Mitch McConnell recently gave a speech claiming that Democratic financial regulation plans would only lead to more bailouts, presumably setting the tenor of unified Republican opposition to the bill. This strategy, according to Herszenhorn and Chan, would follow the pattern set when McConnell accused Democrats of attempting a government takeover of the health care system. The New York Times writers aren't the only two to make the comparison. Here's how others think the two issues match up:

  • Financial Reform's Going Faster  "Compare the timelines of the two," suggests The Washington Post's Ezra Klein: the "summit that officially kicked off health-care reform" came in March, 2009, and health care dominated politics all the way until its passage in March, 2010. With financial reform, the House passed its version in December 2009 ("while the country was focused on health-care reform") and the Senate Banking Committee went with Dodd's version on March 23, 2010. "Expectations are that the bill will hit the Senate floor in latte-April. And the media is only beginning to turn its attention to the issue." The quicker turnaround time is good in one sense: less time for "the opposition ... to organize." But on the other hand, there's less time for debate.
  • Unpopularity Contest  "If there's one thing just as unpopular as government takeovers, it would have to be bailouts, writes ABC's Z. Byron Wolf. In both cases, he points out, Senator Mitch McConnell has led the attack.
  • Socialized Money vs. Socialized Medicine  Andrew Sullivan's The Daily Dish digs up an interesting argument from the London Review's Jonathan Raban, a U.S. permanent resident. "Last month the country went into convulsions over ... 'socialised medicine,'" he says. Yet, "since 1933, banks have been posting signs outside their doors that say 'Deposits are backed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government,' and the FDIC is, in effect, a national wealth service, with taxpayers guaranteeing the private capital of all bank customers, domestic and foreign." No one, he concludes, seems to mind "socialised money."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.