Brooks doesn't believe that health care bill will cut the deficit:

The odds are high that the excise tax will never actually happen. There is no reason to think that the Congress of 2018 will be any braver than the Congress of today. It will probably get around the pay-go rules or whatever else might apply and it’ll postpone the tax again. The excise tax will turn into another “doc fix.” This is a mythical provision in which doctors are always about to get their reimbursements cut. But somehow they never do because the cuts are always pushed back, year after year...

Douthat agrees. It's a depressing thing, this sausage-making, as David's column very elegantly shows. But I do believe that finding a way to get 40 million Americans some access to healthcare is worth doing more than, say, occupying Iraq and Afghanistan for ever, or paying for tens of thousands of US troops to stay in Germany, or the vast behemoth of corporate welfare that never seems to disappear. Don't you?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.