Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Open Letter to Andrew Sullivan


You recently wrote:

The explosion in medical costs since 2000 or 2003, along with the brutal recession, and a greater awareness of the real suffering this has created, has also convinced me that systematic reform is necessary, as long as it is fiscally responsible.
This comes after a long string of posts in which you've encouraged Congress to "pass the damn bill." I understand the sentiment, but it still seems like you’re missing the point.

I agree that any genuine conservative should support a “fiscally responsible” health care reform plan that expands health coverage to millions of Americans. You’re right to criticize congressional Republicans who – in spite of their protestations to the contrary – seem to be aligned against any kind of meaningful reform.

But there are legitimate concerns as to whether this bill would actually be deficit-reducing or even deficit-neutral. Many of the key cost-saving provisions will likely be excluded (or diluted) if the bill is pushed through in reconciliation. And even in its current form, the Senate bill seems to contain an awful lot of cost-saving gimmickry that was thrown in to achieve an attractive score from CBO.

I’m not sure how you can read David’s latest column without at least pausing to consider whether the kind of systematic reform that we’re likely to get is truly going to control costs or simply create another large, unsustainable entitlement.

You continue to assert that the bill is “fiscally responsible” without – as far as I can tell – seriously addressing the concerns of those who suspect otherwise.

What's the deal?

Update: Is Andrew becoming an ideologue on this issue?

This response to Megan McArdle's criticism makes absolutely no sense to me. Are we looking at the same scatter plots?

Maybe I'm missing something . . .

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