Health Care = Iraq?

Reihan contrasts the two:

When I compare the headlong rush to transform the U.S. health system to the invasion of Iraq, my left-of-center friends react with horror. Though I think of the Iraq invasion as a noble effort plagued by profound conceptual problems, they tend to think of it as the product of a deceptive conspiracy perpetrated by war profiteers and their pseudo-intellectual henchmen.

Suffice it to say, I definitely don't think that the health reform effort is a conspiracy cooked up by health profiteers, though it's easy to see how private health insurers and the pharmaceutical industry and other powerful incumbents benefit. I think of the health reformers as very similar to me when I was at my most fervently hawkish: sincere and mostly pragmatic idealists who are letting their highest hopes become expectations.

I'm sure some of that is in play and Reihan is right to warn of potential mess. But unlike the Iraq war, health insurance reform was a signature issue in the previous campaign debates - both primary and general - and  a clear Obama campaign pledge from the get-go. Unlike the Iraq war, the proposal's long term costs have been inspected closely by the CBO. I know no one who believes that the total final costs over ten years could go from $50 billion to, by some estimates, between $2 trillion and $3 trillion and counting. And I know of no one who thinks the end result will wreck America's international standing.

But yes, more debate and scrutiny. If you really think three decades of failures, a year of campaign debate and a year of legislative wrangling really hasn't aired the issues sufficiently.