James Surowiecki doesn't believe compromise is possible on health care:

For Republicans, the current health-insurance system works reasonably well in their minds, it’s a key part of what they kept referring to as “the best health-care system in the world” and therefore whatever changes need to be should be small. The Republicans kept using the word “incremental” to describe their proposed changes, but this is really a red herring, in the sense that it implies that their ultimate goal is to dramatically revamp the current health-insurance system, and that they simply want to do so more slowly than Democrats. That’s not accurate: the Republicans are reasonably satisfied with what’s currently in place. The fact that tens of millions of Americans don’t have health insurance is not, in their mind, an issue that government should be trying to solveat least not if it will cost any real money.

I agree: except it's not about the public money. Look what they were prepared to spend on Medicare D. It's about the votes. They have shown they don't really care about the debt; what they care about is power. Republicanism today is not about the limiting of government power but the wielding of it in as concentrated and unitary a fashion as possible. To accrue more power.

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